Education Letter to the Editor

Long Division

October 08, 2004 1 min read

I am curious about information included in “Lost in Translation” [March/April]. In particular, the author quotes that “average scores of Everyday Mathematics students on each state’s standardized test were significantly higher than for students of similar reading level, socioeconomic background, and race who were not using the curriculum.” I have read the study and it asserts that “the results also hold across all income and racial/ethnic subgroups, except for Hispanic students....” As such, the article implies that all races benefited from use of Everyday Math, which is untrue.

In addition, the article implied that the study included 100,000 students who used Everyday Mathematics. In fact, the study looked at 100,000 students who used three different “reform” curricula, which also included Math Trailblazers and Investigations in Number, Data, and Space. Could you please offer an explanation for these discrepancies? Since your magazine is read by so many educators across the country, I feel that it is important to clarify these misunderstandings.

Ed Hedges
Norman, Oklahoma

Samantha Stainburn’s reply:

We regret the impression that only Everyday Math students were included in the study of 100,000 students. As a group, those students using EM notably outperformed the students not using any of the three curricula; among Hispanic students specifically, there were “no significant differences between the scores.” It was the statistically significant data that was summarized in the discussion of “average scores.” In fact, the study’s executive summary iterates the findings with the following statement: “All significant differences favored the reform students; no significant difference favored the comparison students. This result held across all tests, all grade levels, and all strands, regardless of SES [socioeconomic status] and racial/ethnic identity.”