Research reviews of two middle school programs that were released last week by the federal What Works Clearinghouse found mixed results.
A report on the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project (USCMP) Algebra, a one-year course, found one study that met the clearinghouse’s standards. Based on that study, which involved 36 Nebraska junior high students, clearinghouse analysts determined that the program had “no discernable effects” on math achievement.
The second review, which analyzes studies of the Talent Development Middle Grades Program, found no studies that met the evidence standards of the clearinghouse. Based on that lack of evidence, clearinghouse reviewers concluded that they were unable to determine the effectiveness of the program, which places troubled students in small learning communities within schools and tries to engage them with culturally relevant curricula.
A version of this article appeared in the March 11, 2009 edition of Education Week