WWC review of this study

The Core-Plus Mathematics project: Perspectives and student achievement.

Schoen, H. L., & Hirsch, C. R. (2002). In S. Senk & D. Thompson (Eds.),Standards-based school mathematics curricula: What are they? What do students learn? (pp. 311–343). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    1,050
     Students
    , grades
    9-10
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: September 2010

Mathematics achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 2 (CPMP2): Coordinate Geometry subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1996

Grade 10;
237 students

16.1

11.13

Yes

 
 
36
More Outcomes

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 2 (CPMP2): Contextual Algebra subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1996

Grade 10;
237 students

7.14

3.94

Yes

 
 
33

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 1 (CPMP1): Contextual Algebra I subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1995

Grade 9;
947 students

10.11

6.42

Yes

 
 
31

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 1 (CPMP1): Contextual Algebra II subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1995

Grade 9;
947 students

4.34

3.09

Yes

 
 
19

SAT

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 11 and 12;
98 students

484.6

467

No

 
 
11

Iowa Test of Educational Development: Ability to Do Quantitative Thinking (ITED-Q)

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 9;
1,050 students

266

257.1

Yes

 
 
8

Iowa Test of Educational Development: Ability to Do Quantitative Thinking (ITED-Q)

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 10;
390 students

281.4

280

No

--

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 2 (CPMP2): Procedural Algebra subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1996

Grade 10;
237 students

7.54

8.3

No

--

Core-Plus Mathematics Project Part 1 (CPMP1): Procedural Algebra subtest

Core-Plus Mathematics vs. Business as usual

spring 1995

Grade 9;
947 students

8.92

10.87

Yes

-15
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
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    Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas

Setting

The full set of 36 field-test schools were located in Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas. The 11 schools in the year one analysis included six from the Midwest (one urban, one rural, and four suburban), three from the West (one urban and two rural), one urban school from the East, and one rural school from the South. At each site, there were from two to five Core-Plus Mathematics teachers and from one to three comparison teachers. Five of the 11 schools continued into the year two analysis: two suburban, Midwestern schools and three urban schools, one from the South and two from the West.

Study sample

Among an initial sample of 36 high schools that were field testing the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum, 11 schools volunteered to administer pretests and posttests to students in both Core-Plus Mathematics and traditional classrooms. The authors state that schools were encouraged to create heterogeneous classroom groupings, although this was not always possible. The authors utilized a stratified matched-pairs design to select the intervention and comparison samples. Students in comparison classrooms were grouped by their most recently completed math course, and then matched to students in the intervention group using pretest scores, school, and gender, in that order. This process was conducted separately during each of the two years of the study (only five of the 11 schools from year one agreed to posttest students in the comparison group in year two). The main analysis included 1,050 students (525 intervention and 525 comparison) in year one and 390 students (195 intervention and 195 control) in year two. Additional analyses (reported in Appendices A3 and A4) varied in sample size, with baseline equivalence information presented separately for each of these samples.

Intervention Group

The intervention as implemented in the study included Course 1 and Course 2 of the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum. The Core-Plus Mathematics Course 1 curriculum was used with ninth-grade students in year one, and Core-Plus Mathematics Course 2 was for tenth-grade students in year two. The authors note that the field-test versions of the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum used in the study underwent revisions prior to the curriculum’s formal publication.

Comparison Group

According to the authors, the nature of the instruction in the comparison classrooms was not specified in advance; a variety of traditional textbooks were used. Comparison classrooms during year one included 20 Algebra, five Pre-algebra, three General Mathematics, and two ninth-grade accelerated Geometry classes. Students in the year two comparison group were enrolled in either Algebra, Geometry, or Accelerated Advanced Algebra.

Outcome descriptions

Student math achievement was assessed using several measures. The full analysis sample for years one and two completed the Iowa Tests of Educational Development mathematics subtest. Slightly smaller numbers of students completed two author-created outcome measures: the Course 1 CPMP Posttest and Course 2 CPMP Posttest. The SAT Mathematics subtest also served as an outcome measure for a subsample of students. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix A2

Support for implementation

From each school, a minimum of one Core-Plus Mathematics teacher attended a two-week workshop prior to teaching a Core-Plus Mathematics course. In this workshop, teachers worked through the course materials by using a small-group investigative approach similar to the one that they would be using with their own students. The comparison teachers had no special in-service program.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Schoen, H. L., Hirsch, C. R., & Ziebarth, S. W. (1998). An emerging profile of the mathematical achievement of students in the Core-Plus Mathematics project. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.

 

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