WWC review of this study

Final Report of the Impacts of the National Math + Science Initiative's (NMSI's) College Readiness Program on High School Students' Outcomes

Sherman, Dan; Li, Yibing; Darwin, Marlene; Taylor, Suzanne; Song, Mengli (2017). American Institutes for Research. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED577450

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
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Reviewed: October 2018

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
College Readiness outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Percent Passing AP Exam

National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) College Readiness Program vs. Business as usual

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Full sample;
116 schools





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Colorado, Indiana
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Public high schools in Colorado and Indiana provided the setting for this study. The intervention was a schoolwide program, with an emphasis on Advanced Placement (AP) coursework in mathematics, science, and English. The first cohort implemented the intervention in 2012-13, with the second and third cohorts implementing the intervention in 2013-14 and 2014-15 respectively.

Study sample

School baseline characteristics are outlines in tables 1, 2 and 3 seperately for each cohort, and pooled in Table 4. The treatment schools at baseline were 53.35% white, 52.53% eligible for RPL, had Grade 10 to 12 enrollment of 1,365, 12.48% took an AP exam in English, mathematics, or science, and 4.53% were passing those AP exams. The control schools at baseline were 52.90% white, 50.02% eligible for RPL, had Grade 10 to 12 enrollment of 1,319, 11.05% took an AP exam in English, mathematics, or science, and 4.20% were passing those AP exams.

Intervention Group

The College Readiness Program provided teachers with content and pedagogy professional development, provided students with tutoring support in AP coursework, and offered financial incentives to both teachers and students. The program was designed to last three years in each intervention school. Professional development for teachers included content-specific workshops and the requirement that AP teachers attend College Board summer institutes. Teachers were also given access to live content experts and to online support materials. Student academic support was offered both as Saturday tutoring sessions and access to online homework support materials. Financial incentives to teachers were cash payments of $100 for each student who passed an AP exam and additional $1000 for reaching a targeted number of students passing an exam. Students received cash payments of $100 for each AP exam they passed.

Comparison Group

Schools in the comparison condition maintained business as usual.

Support for implementation

In addition to the teacher professional development and support resources that were a main part of the intervention, statewide coordinators provided program support to all intervention schools in each state. These coordinators worked to ease implementation and standardize the CRP in sites across the nation.


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