Four schools located in urban and suburban settings participated in the study. Two schools
were located in Ohio and two schools were located in New Jersey.
Third- and fifth-grade teachers were randomly assigned within schools to either the intervention
or comparison condition. The baseline sample included 39 teachers (20 intervention and 19
comparison) and 915 students (468 intervention and 447 comparison). Twenty-three teachers
taught third grade (13 intervention and 10 comparison), and 16 taught fifth grade (seven intervention
and nine comparison). No teachers left the study, and student attrition was low. Between
837 and 863 students were tested at the end of the school year on the TerraNova Comprehensive
Tests of Basics Skills (CTBS) Basic Multiple Assessment (Math Total) and TerraNova CTBS
Basic Multiple Assessment Plus (Math Computation). On average, participating schools had a
lower percentage of Hispanic and African-American students, special education students, and
students eligible for free or reduced-price meals than the national average. These schools had
higher average percentages of Asian students and students with higher ability levels than the
Students used the 2005 Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics curriculum during
the 2005–06 school year. The program was implemented according to the curricula guidelines.
Implementation was monitored throughout the school year using online teacher logs and classroom
observation. The study authors reported that teachers covered 79% of the curriculum on average.
Comparison students used three different math curricula. Students in two schools used a
chapter-based, comprehensive basal program. Students in a third school used a different basal
math program that placed greater emphasis on repetitive, sequential review and regular assessments.
Students in a fourth school used a school-created math program that was based on a
number of different math materials from various resources. The comparison curricula generally
covered the same content as Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics. The
study authors reported that teachers covered 80% of the curricula on average.
The authors administered the TerraNova Basic Multiple Assessment Plus test (Level 13 in third
grade and Level 15 in fifth grade). The math test provides two overall scores: the TerraNova Comprehensive Tests of Basics Skills (CTBS) Basic Multiple Assessment (Math Total) and the TerraNova CTBS Basic Multiple Assessment Plus (Math Computation) Total. The Math Total score is based on multiple choice and constructed response items that are predominantly word problems that measure basic, applied, and higher-order thinking skills. The Math Computation Total is based on the Plus test booklet, which contains only multiple-choice computational problems. Scale scores were used in the analysis. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Teachers received 3 hours of initial training prior to implementing Scott Foresman–Addison
Wesley Elementary Mathematics in their classes. At the initial training session, the trainer
described the key components of the curriculum, reviewed the teacher’s edition textbook and
available ancillary resources, offered examples of when to use certain materials, provided an
overview of the math technology available, and modeled a math lesson. The training focused on
the components most vital to the program and those that were required for full implementation.
Two follow-up sessions were offered during the school year. The first was offered 4–8 weeks
into the school year and lasted 2 hours. The session was informal and allowed teachers to
discuss and ask questions about implementation issues. A second follow-up session,
addressing pacing issues and further covering the technology available with the program, was
provided to one school in March. The other three schools were offered the second follow-up
session but chose not to receive it.