WWC review of this study

Achievement effects of four early elementary school math curricula: Findings for first and second graders (NCEE 2011-4001).

Agodini, R., Harris, B., Thomas, M., Murphy, R., & Gallagher, L. (2010). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED512551

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    2,481
     Students
    , grades
    1-2

Reviewed: April 2017

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

Reviewed: June 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

Reviewed: May 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

Reviewed: May 2013

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,623 students

71.66

70.31

No

--
More Outcomes

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,396 students

44.40

44.43

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,638 students

70.84

71.38

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon math

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,235 students

44.69

45.23

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,339 students

43.82

44.74

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon Math

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,711 students

71.13

72.53

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,243 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,827 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,243 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,889 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,101 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,827 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon Math

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,827 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon Math

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,889 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 1: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,889 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon Math

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,101 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon Math

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with up to 40% eligibility for FRPL;
2,243 students

N/A

N/A

Yes

-6
 
 

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 2: Schools with greater than 40% eligibility for FRPL;
1,101 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 56% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    33%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    37%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    27%
    Not Hispanic
    73%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas

Reviewed: May 2013

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Investigations in Number, Data, and Space

Spring Semester

Grade 1;
2,396 students

44.54

44.51

No

--
More Outcomes

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Saxon math

Spring Semester

Grade 1;
2,377 students

44.72

45.23

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Math Expressions

Spring Semester

Grade 1;
2,481 students

43.85

44.74

Yes

-4
 
 

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Investigations in Number, Data, and Space

Spring Semester

Grade 2;
1,623 students

68.50

69.85

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Math Expressions

Spring Semester

Grade 2;
1,633 students

69.49

71.38

Yes

-5
 
 

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics vs. Saxon Math

Spring Semester

Grade 2;
1,706 students

69.78

72.53

Yes

-7
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 50% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    32%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    39%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    26%
    Not Hispanic
    74%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas

Setting

The study took place in elementary schools in 12 districts across 10 states, including Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. Of the 12 districts, three were in urban areas, five were in suburban areas, and four were in rural areas.

Study sample

Following district and school recruitment and collection of consent from all teachers in the participating grades, 111 participating schools were randomly assigned to one of four curricula: (a) Investigations in Number, Data, and Space®, (b) Math Expressions, (c) Saxon Math, and (d) Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley Mathematics. Blocked random assignment of the schools was conducted separately within each district. In each district, participating schools were grouped together into blocks of four to seven schools based on characteristics such as Title I eligibility, free or reduced-price lunch eligibility status, grade enrollment size, math proficiency, and proportion of White and Hispanic students. Two districts had an additional blocking variable (magnet school status in one district and year-round school schedule in another district). One district required that all schools that fed into the same middle school receive the same condition. Schools in each block were randomly assigned among the four curricula. On average, 11 students were randomly sampled from each participating classroom for assessment. One school with three teachers and 32 students assigned to Math Expressions withdrew from the study and did not permit follow-up data collection. The analysis sample included a total of 110 schools, 461 first-grade classrooms, 4,716 first graders, 328 second-grade classrooms, and 3,344 second graders. In the first grade sample, on average, 27 schools, 116 classrooms, and 1,180 students were assigned to each condition. In the second grade sample, on average, 18 schools, 82 classrooms, and 835 students were assigned to each condition. Seventy-six percent of the schools in the study were eligible for Title I funding. Approximately half of the students in the sample were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Among students in the sample, 39% were White, 32% were non-Hispanic Black, 26% were Hispanic, 2% were Asian, and 1% were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention group used Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley Mathematics as their core math curriculum. Study authors reported about nine out of 10 teachers self-reported completing at least 80% of the curriculum.

Comparison Group

The study included three comparison groups: (a) Investigations in Number, Data, and Space®, (b) Math Expressions, and (c) Saxon Math. Each curriculum was implemented by comparison teachers for 1 school year. Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® is published by Pearson Scott Foresman. It uses a student-centered approach that encourages reasoning and understanding and draws on constructivist learning theory. The lessons build on students’ existing knowledge and focus on understanding math concepts rather than simply learning computational methods. The curriculum is organized in nine thematic units, each lasting 2–5.5 weeks. Study authors reported that about four out of five teachers self-reported completing at least 80% of the curriculum. Math Expressions is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and uses a blend of student-centered and teacher-directed instructional approaches. Students using the curriculum question and discuss mathematics and are explicitly taught problem solving strategies. There is an emphasis on using multiple specified objects, drawings, and language to represent concepts, and on learning through the use of real-world situations. Students are expected to explain and justify their solutions. Study authors reported that about nine out of 10 teachers self-reported completing at least 80% of the curriculum. Saxon Math is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and uses a teacher-directed approach that offers a script for teachers to follow in each lesson. It blends teacher-directed instruction of new material with daily practice of previously learned concepts and procedures. The teacher introduces concepts or efficient strategies for solving problems. Students receive instruction from the teacher, participate in guided practice, and then undertake individual practice. Frequent monitoring of student achievement is built into the program. Daily routines are extensive and emphasize practice of number concepts and use of methods (such as the use of number lines, counting on fingers, and diagrams) to represent mathematical concepts. Study authors reported that about six out of seven teachers self-reported completing at least 80% of the curriculum.

Outcome descriptions

Mathematics achievement was measured using the mathematics assessment developed for the ECLS-K class of 1998–99. The assessment is individually administered, nationally normed, and adaptive. The assessment meets accepted standards of validity and reliability. Scale scores from an item response theory (IRT) model were used in the analysis. The test was administered in the fall of the implementation year (within 4 weeks of the first day of classes) to assess students’ baseline math achievement. The test was also administered in the spring—that is, from 1–6 weeks before the end of the school year of program implementation. For a more detailed description of the outcome measure, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

Teachers in all four groups were provided training by the curriculum publisher. Teachers assigned to Scott Foresman–Addison Wesley Elementary Mathematics received 1 day of initial training in the summer before the school year began. Follow-up training was offered about every 4–6 weeks throughout the school year. Follow-up sessions were typically 3–4 hours long and held after school. Teachers assigned to Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® (comparison group 1) were provided 1 day of initial training in the summer before the school year began. Follow-up sessions were typically 3–4 hours long and held after school. Teachers assigned to Math Expressions (comparison group 2) were provided 2 days of initial training in the summer before the school year began. Two follow-up trainings were offered during the school year. Follow-up sessions typically consisted of classroom observations followed by short feedback sessions with teachers. Teachers assigned to Saxon Math (comparison group 3) were provided 1 day of initial training in the summer before the school year began. One follow-up training session, tailored to meet each district’s needs, was offered during the school year.

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.

  • Agodini, R. & Harris, B. (2010). An experimental evaluation of four elementary school math curricula. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 3(3), 199–253.

  • Agodini, R., Harris, B., Atkins-Burnett, S., Heaviside, S., Novak, T., & Murphy, R. (2009). Achievement effects of four early elementary school math curricula: Findings from first graders in 39 schools (NCEE 2009–4052). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

  • Agodini, R., Harris, B., Atkins-Burnett, S., Heaviside, S., Novak, T., Murphy, R., & Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. (2009). Achievement effects of four early elementary school math curricula: Findings from first graders in 39 schools. Executive summary (NCEE 2009-4053). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

Reviewed: April 2011

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Math Expressions vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,633 students

15.14

14.32

Yes

 
 
5
 
More Outcomes

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Math Expressions vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,481 students

14.16

13.25

Yes

 
 
4
 

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Math Expressions vs. Saxon

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,320 students

14.16

13.56

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Math Expressions vs. Saxon

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,721 students

15.14

16.59

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 50% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    32%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    39%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    26%
    Not Hispanic
    74%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas

Reviewed: April 2011

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Saxon Math vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,706 students

16.59

14.32

Yes

 
 
7
 
More Outcomes

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Saxon Math vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,377 students

13.56

13.25

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 50% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    32%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    39%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    26%
    Not Hispanic
    74%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas

Reviewed: April 2011

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Statistically significant negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,623 students

14.81

14.32

No

--
More Outcomes

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,396 students

13.36

13.25

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,638 students

14.81

15.14

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,235 students

13.36

13.56

No

--

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Math Expressions

Posttest

Grade 1;
2,339 students

13.36

14.16

Yes

-4
 
 

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study- Kindergarten (ECLS-K) Math Assessment

Investigations in Number, Data, and Space® vs. Saxon

Posttest

Grade 2;
1,711 students

14.81

16.59

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 50% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    32%
    Native American
    1%
    White
    39%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    26%
    Not Hispanic
    74%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas
 

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