The study took place in 25 Texas schools located in rural, suburban, and urban districts. Students in Cohort A (the analytic sample in this review) were in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the 1998–99 through 2000–01 school years.
Data were collected from 15 intervention schools in Texas districts that used Saxon Math in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades between 1993 and 2004. The Texas Education Agency identified 40 potential comparison schools that were similar to the intervention schools based on demographic characteristics including race, ethnicity, poverty, English language proficiency, and percentage of mobile students. Fifteen of the 40 potential schools were randomly selected for the comparison group. Within this group of 30 schools, the author selected three distinct samples of students and examined outcomes for multiple cohorts in each sample. This review focuses on Sample 1, which included Cohorts A, B, and C. Cohorts B and C were ineligible for review because they fall within the Secondary Mathematics topic area; therefore, this review focuses on the analytic sample in Cohort A.
Cohort A included data for students in 25 of the 30 schools, including a total of 3,054 students. The intervention group contained 1,472 students in 12 schools, and the comparison group contained 1,582 students in 13 schools. The study did not report the characteristics of the analytic sample of students in this review, but they did provide information for all students in the study: about 45% were Caucasian, about 40% were Hispanic, about 10% were African American, about 5% were limited English proficient, about 15% were special education status, about 50% were female, and about 45% were economically disadvantaged.
This intervention report considers the outcome in the seventh grade, after the intervention was implemented for 2 consecutive years, as the primary finding for the evidence rating of effectiveness because it is the highest grade in the study that met standards. The outcome in sixth grade is considered a supplemental finding that does not factor into the intervention’s rating of effectiveness. Because some students in the grade 8 analytic sample used Saxon Algebra I, the outcome measure using this sample is ineligible for review under the Primary Mathematics topic area; therefore, only outcomes in grades 6 and 7 are eligible for this review.
Students in the intervention group used Saxon Math as their core math curriculum in grades 6 and 7 during the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 school years. In the sixth grade, at least 80% of students used Saxon Math 7/6 as their core math curriculum; in the seventh grade, at least 80% used Saxon Math 8/7. The remaining students used the Saxon curriculum at the next grade level. The study did not specify which editions of Saxon Math were used. Further information about the level of implementation in study schools was not provided.
Students in the comparison schools used core basal math curricula, which typically consist of a chapter-based approach to math instruction. Specific details about how these curricula were implemented in comparison schools are not provided by the authors.
Support for implementation
The study does not provide information on the support for implementation. However, intervention schools were already using the Saxon Math curriculum prior to the study.