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Impact of providing information to parents in Texas about the role of Algebra II in college admission

Region:
Southwest
Description:
This study examines the impact of providing parents with an informational brochure about the role of algebra II in college access on students’ grade 11 algebra II completion rates in Texas. One hundred nine schools, covering all 20 Educational Service Center regions in Texas, participated in the study. Parents in the 54 treatment schools were mailed brochures containing information about the role of algebra II in college access and success, as well as information about the new high school graduation options, while parents in the 55 control schools received brochures only about changes in the high school graduation requirements. The study used data from the Texas Education Agency’s Public Education Information Management System, statewide assessment files, and Texas Academic Performance Report files. A multilevel regression model was used to compare algebra II completion rates during grade 11 for students in participating schools that received information about the role of algebra II in college access and students in participating schools that received the alternate brochure. Interaction terms were included in the model in order to look for differential impacts for high-minority or low-income schools. The study found no statistically significant differences in algebra II completion rates during grade 11 between students in treatment in control schools. However, the study did find a statistically significant interaction between school-level treatment and low-income status. While the estimated impacts of the treatment were not statistically significant for students in low-income schools or for students in non-low-income schools, the interaction suggested a less positive impact in the low-income schools. Additional research could help to parse this out. If parents and guardians of students in schools with and without high percentages of low-income students do respond differently to the two types of brochures, this could help TEA to better design and target informational materials for parents and guardians.
Publication Type:
Making an Impact
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
March 2018
Contact: