All schools in this study were located in a large urban school district in north Texas.
The study sample consisted of third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students. Six schools within
one district volunteered to implement the first edition of Everyday Mathematics® during the
1998–99 school year. A comparison group of 12 schools within the same school district was
selected. Comparison schools did not use Everyday Mathematics® during the 1998–99 school
year. The study matched the 12 comparison schools to the intervention schools based on ethnicity,
socioeconomic status (measured by the proportion of students that participated in the
free or reduced-price lunch program), and prior student mathematics scores (measured by the
Iowa Test of Basic Skills [ITBS]). The analytic sample consisted of 732 students in 52 classes
among the six intervention schools and 2,704 students among the 12 comparison schools (the
number of classes in the comparison schools was not provided by the author).
The six intervention schools used Everyday Mathematics® for the full 1998–99 school year.
Everyday Mathematics® introduces mathematical concepts in a variety of ways during the
school year and consists of daily lesson plans that usually begin with a Math Message, which
is the focus of the lesson, and combines teacher-led discussions and hands-on group and
individual activities during the class. In addition to the class components, students also keep a
journal in which they write about mathematical concepts and work on homework assignments
that are intended to reinforce practical experience with mathematics.
The comparison group used the district’s adopted textbook, Mathematics in Action, a traditional
mathematics curriculum. Mathematics in Action focuses on the systematic understanding
of concepts and algorithms in specific lesson plans with an emphasis on practice
problems and repetition before new concepts are introduced.
The primary outcome used to measure student mathematics achievement was the Total Math
Score from the 1999 Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), which was administered
to students in April 1999. The study reports an overall score and three subtest scores on the
TAAS that measure concepts, operations, and problem solving. In addition, for the overall
score, the author reports subgroup results for students who were classified as Black, Hispanic,
White, male, female, of low socioeconomic status, and other socioeconomic status.4 The
mean national percentage ranking of student scores on the math section of the ITBS was used
as a pretest. The ITBS pretest was administered to students in April 1998. For a more detailed
description of the TAAS outcome measure, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Teachers and administrators in the intervention schools received 40 hours of initial training
on Everyday Mathematics®, as recommended by the publisher. Teachers also received the
curriculum’s Teacher’s Resource Package, which includes a variety of materials that help
teachers successfully implement the program, such as the Teacher’s Manual and Lesson
Guide, a teacher’s Resource Book, instructions on creating home and school links, and a
materials kit that contains manipulatives (e.g., dice, rulers) used in the lessons.