WWC review of this study

An evaluation of the second edition of UCSMP Algebra.

Thompson, D. R., Senk, S. L., Witonsky, D., Usiskin, Z., & Kaeley, G. (2006). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago School Mathematics Project.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    189
     Students
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

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

UCSMP Problem-Solving and Understanding Test

University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) Algebra vs. Business as usual

9 Months

Mostly grade 9, Schools X, Y, & Z;
189 students

6.57

3.39

Yes

 
 
34
More Outcomes

High School Subject Tests: Algebra

University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) Algebra vs. Business as usual

9 Months

Mostly grade 9, Schools X, Y, & Z;
189 students

48.24

46

No

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

UCSMP Algebra and Probability Test

University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) Algebra vs. Business as usual

9 Months

Grades 9–12, Schools X, Y, & Z;
189 students

49.8

37.3

No

 
 
29

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
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    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
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    • c
    • g
    • j
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    Northeast, South, West

Setting

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.

Study sample

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 Group

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.

Comparison Group

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.

 

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