The three high schools (grades 9–12) included in the analytic sample were located on the West Coast, in the Northeast, and in the South. School X was a large, ethnically diverse high school on the West Coast, serving approximately 2,800 students from inner-city and suburban environments; UCSMP Geometry had previously been used at the school. School Y was a suburban high school in the Northeast, serving 950 students from a middle- to upper-middle-class socioeconomic population; no UCSMP curricula were previously used at this school. School Z was a suburban high school of approximately 2,800 in a middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood in the South and serves a large Hispanic community; no UCSMP curricula were previously used at this school.
School X was a large, ethnically diverse high school on the West Coast. School Y was a suburban high school in the Northeast serving students from a middle- to upper-middle-class socioeconomic population. School Z was a suburban high school in a middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood in the South and serves a large Hispanic community.
Intervention classes used UCSMP Algebra (second edition, field trial version) during the 1992–93 school year. UCSMP Algebra emphasizes lessons with real-world applications, use of technology (e.g., scientific calculators), spaced introduction of important algebra concepts,
integration of non-algebraic mathematic topics (e.g., geometry, data organization, and probability), and the use of reading passages to explain concepts and provide important information.
The comparison classroom in School X used Saxon Math Algebra I: An Incremental Development. In School Y, classrooms used Houghton Mifflin’s Algebra: Structure and Method Book I, and School Z classrooms used Prentice Hall’s Algebra I.
Support for implementation
Teachers received the UCSMP text in three sections: chapters 1–4 at the beginning of the school year, chapters 5–8 in November, and chapters 9–13 in early winter. They also were given lesson notes and answers to questions, by chapter, throughout the school year. Teachers met twice with developers to provide feedback, raises issues, and discuss instructional concerns. They did not receive direct in-service training.