Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Saxon Math "no discernible effects on algebra for secondary school students"
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) today released intervention reports on two core mathematics curricula that seek to improve mathematics achievement in secondary grades. The WWC reviewed:
• The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and found it had potentially positive effects on both general math achievement and algebra outcomes for secondary school students; and
• Saxon Math and found it had no discernible effects on algebra for secondary school students.
An intervention report is a summary of findings of the highest-quality research on a given program, practice, or policy in education. The WWC searches for all research studies on an intervention, reviews each against evidence standards, and summarizes the findings of those that meet standards.
The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (UCSMP) utilizes a student-centered approach to learning, incorporating problem solving, real-world applications, and the use of technology. The WWC found that UCSMP Algebra I has potentially positive effects on both general mathematics achievement and algebra for secondary students. In addition, the cumulative effect of multiple UCSMP courses was found to have potentially positive effects on general mathematics achievement for these students. No studies of UCSMP Geometry; UCSMP Advanced Algebra; UCSMP Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry; or UCSMP Precalculus and Discrete Mathematics meet WWC group design standards and therefore, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness. Read the full report.
Saxon Math is designed for students in grades K–12 and uses an incremental approach to instruction and assessment. The WWC found that Saxon Algebra I has no discernible effects on algebra achievement for secondary students. There were no studies of Saxon Geometry, Saxon Algebra II, or Saxon Advanced Math that meet WWC group design standards. Therefore, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these courses for secondary students. Get the full report.
Earlier this month, the WWC restructured reviews of research on math interventions into two areas: Primary Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics. These two intervention reports are part of the new Secondary Mathematics review area which includes interventions that are organized by content area typically taught in grades 9–12. To see other WWC math reports and resources, check out What Works in Math and compare the evidence on math programs to find the one that’s right for your school or district.