Federal

Much-Used Elementary Math Program Gets Qualified Nod From U.S. Ed. Dept.

By David J. Hoff — September 19, 2006 2 min read

A popular K-6 math curriculum has shown promise for improving student achievement but needs more thorough study before it can be declared effective, a federal research center reported last week.

A review of research on “Everyday Mathematics,” including a link to the complete report is posted by the What Works Clearinghouse at the U.S. Department of Education.

Everyday Mathematics, which is used by 3 million U.S. students in 175,000 classrooms, was deemed to raise students’ test scores by an average of 12 percentile points in a review of four studies reanalyzed by the What Works Clearinghouse at the U.S. Department of Education.

Those gains are “pretty strong,” said Phoebe Cottingham, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, which oversees the clearinghouse. But she said the curriculum could not receive the clearinghouse’s top ranking because none of the research conducted on it was a large-scale study that compared achievement among students who were randomly assigned either to the program or to a control group.

For the review, a team of clearinghouse researchers analyzed 62 studies on the impact of Everyday Mathematics, which was developed at the University of Chicago in the 1980s and is now published by the New York City-based McGraw-Hill Cos. Of those studies, just four met the clearinghouse’s quality criteria and underwent more analysis by its researchers.

Of those four, three studies found “positive” effects, but just one detected improvements in students’ math achievement that were considered statistically significant. The fourth study found no effect on test scores.

Based on those results, the report said the curriculum has “potentially positive effects,” the second-highest category on its ranking scale.

“The ranking underscores the stellar results [Everyday Mathematics] has had in the marketplace for over 20 years,” said Mary Skafidas, a spokeswoman for the McGraw-Hill Cos.

Everyday Mathematics is used widely across the country, including in most of the elementary schools in the 1.1 million-student New York City public school system, the nation’s largest.

In 1999, a federal panel of curriculum experts named Everyday Mathematics one of five math curricula with “promising” potential based on how well their materials aligned with national math standards. That list was later criticized by a group of mathematicians because they say programs it recognized failed to teach students basic math skills.

The current effort to evaluate programs’ effectiveness is hampered by a lack of high-quality studies published in academic journals and other places, some analysts say.

“It’s underwhelming the number of good studies done in math,” Ms. Cottingham said. “It’s a reflection on the past state of education research.”

The What Works Clearinghouse is the Education Department’s attempt to identify effective curricula and programs based on reviews of research. Previously, it has released evaluations of middle school math curricula and character education programs.

A version of this article appeared in the September 20, 2006 edition of Education Week as Much-Used Elementary Math Program Gets Qualified Nod From U.S. Ed. Dept.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Arizona School Data Analyst - (AZVA)
Arizona, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Federal Congress Again Tries to Pass Eagles Act, Focused on School Shootings After Parkland
A group of bipartisan Congressional lawmakers is once again trying to get a law passed aimed at preventing school violence.
Devoun Cetoute & Carli Teproff
2 min read
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2019 during the first anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Some Districts Extend Paid Leave Policies as They Hope for Passage of Biden Relief Plan
With federal provisions having expired, some school employees have had to dip into their own banks of leave for COVID-19 purposes.
5 min read
Linda Davila-Macal, a seventh grade reading teacher at BL Garza Middle School in Edinburg, Texas, works from her virtual classroom at her home on Aug. 31, 2020.
A teacher leads a virtual classroom from her home.
Delcia Lopez/The Monitor via AP
Federal President Biden Is Walking a 'Careful Tightrope' When It Comes to School Reopenings
CDC guidance and confusion over his rhetoric turn up the pressure, and could overshadow progress in schools and nuanced public opinion.
9 min read
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event at Pabst Theater in Milwaukee on Feb. 16, 2021.
President Joe Biden answers questions during a televised town hall event in Milwaukee earlier this month.
Evan Vucci/AP
Federal White House Unveils New Money to Aid COVID-19 Testing in Schools, But Says More Is Needed
Federal agencies will use $650 million to expand testing in schools and "underserved communities" such as homeless shelters.
2 min read
Image of a coronavirus test swab.
The White House announced new money to help schools test students and staff for COVID-19, but it said more aid is necessary to scale up those efforts.
E+