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IES Grant

Title: National Randomized Control Trial of Everyday Mathematics
Center: NCER Year: 2010
Principal Investigator: Vaden-Kiernan, Michael Awardee: Southwest Educational Development Corporation (SEDL)
Program: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $6,145,582
Type: Scale-Up Evaluations Award Number: R305A100116

Co-Principal Investigator: Geoffrey Borman

Purpose: Given the importance of early mathematics instruction and curricula for preventing mathematics difficulties in later grades, it is necessary to identify effective mathematics curricula and instruction to ensure that children become proficient in early mathematics content and procedures. One widely used elementary mathematics curriculum, Everyday Mathematics, was reviewed by the What Works Clearinghouse and is reported to have "potentially positive effects" on students' mathematics achievement. However, most of the studies that have evaluated Everyday Mathematics have used quasi-experimental designs or are small-scale randomized control trials. This research team will be the first to conduct a scale-up evaluation of this widely used curriculum. The results of this study will contribute to determining whether Everyday Mathematics is effective in promoting mathematic proficiency in the elementary grades.

Project Activities: The researchers will evaluate the scale-up effectiveness of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum when used as the core mathematics curriculum in kindergarten to 5th grade classrooms. A cluster-randomized trial will be conducted with a national sample of schools randomly assigned to use either the Everyday Mathematics curriculum or to continue to use their current mathematics curriculum. In addition to studying the impact of Everyday Mathematics on student outcomes, the researchers will examine how student, school, and district factors, and the fidelity of implementation of the curriculum contribute to the impact findings.

Products: The products of this project include information on the effectiveness of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum for improving mathematics outcomes for elementary school students in kindergarten through 5th grade, and published reports.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The setting for this study includes elementary schools in diverse regions and locales across the United States.

Population: The sample of elementary schools will be stratified by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) and locale (urban, suburban, and rural) in order to obtain a generalizable sample of schools and students.

Intervention: Everyday Mathematics is a core mathematics curriculum for grades prekindergarten to six. This evaluation will focus on students in kindergarten to grade 5. The curriculum emphasizes six strands of mathematics knowledge with learning targets identified for each strand by grade level. It includes student materials, teacher manuals, assessment and practice guides, and home links to support parent involvement. The curriculum includes a 2- to 3-day summer workshop to train teachers to implement the curriculum, as well as follow-up support by Everyday Mathematics consultants. The instructional format follows a consistent three-part lesson plan in all grades focusing on lesson objectives, ongoing practices for students, and differentiated instruction options. Teachers also use informal and formal assessments to monitor student progress and inform instruction.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will use a multi-site cluster randomized design for the scale-up evaluation of Everyday Mathematics. First, school districts will be stratified by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) and locale (urban, suburban, rural) and then schools within each district will be assigned to either use the Everyday Mathematics curriculum (treatment condition), or to continue to use their current mathematics curriculum (control condition). The researchers will collect data from two cohorts of teachers and students across 3 years. The first cohort will be in kindergarten, and the second cohort will be in grade 3 during the first year of the evaluation. Data will be collected from all students in both cohorts for 3 years with data collected at grades K-2 and 3-5, respectively. This design will allow the researchers to examine the data both longitudinally and cross-sectionally. The intervention is intended to be implemented under normal conditions. Typical implementation includes 2- to 3-day summer professional development workshops for teachers implementing Everyday Mathematics. Researchers will assess all students in designated grades for math achievement in the Fall (pretest) and Spring (posttest) of each year. Classroom observations will also be conducted in both treatment and control classrooms in the Fall and Spring. In addition, teacher and principal interviews will be conducted in both treatment and control schools at the beginning and end of the school year.

Control Condition: Schools in the control condition will continue to implement their business-as-usual mathematics curriculum and instruction.

Key Measures: The pre- and post-test outcome measures will be assessed using the Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GMADE). Fidelity of implementation will be captured by classroom observations and interviews with teachers and principals.

Data Analytic Strategy: Data analyses will be conducted using a three-level hierarchical linear model with students nested within schools within districts. Fall pre-tests will be used as covariates and spring post-tests on the GMADE will be the outcome variable. Treatment fidelity data and other student, school, and district characteristics will be examined as potential moderators of the effect of the intervention.

Project Website:

Products and Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Tipton, E., Fellers, L., Caverly, S., Vaden-Kiernan, M., Borman, G., Sullivan, K., and Ruiz de Castilla, V. (2016). Site Selection in Experiments: An Assessment of Site Recruitment and Generalizability in Two Scale-Up Studies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9 (1): 209–228.

Tipton, E., Hedges, L., Vaden-Kiernan, M., Borman, G., Sullivan, K., and Caverly, S. (2014). Sample Selection in Randomized Experiments: A New Method Using Propensity Score Stratified Sampling. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7 (1): 114–135.