Two sets of early-grades math curricula, Saxon Math and Math Expressions, emerged as big winners in a major study released by Mathematica. A curriculum that’s drawn major heat from parents in some districts, Investigations in Number, Data and Space, did not fare as well. Nor did Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics. Read my colleague Debbie Viadero’s story here.
Various factions in the much-discussed “math wars” are sure to go to the report for ammunition in advancing their causes. The study only focused on 1st graders, in four states. It involved about 1,300 students.
Investigations is often referred to as a “reform” math curriculum. In the minds of some parents, it shuns traditional arithmetic problem solving in favor of less traditional problem-solving approaches. The Scott Foresman-Addison product, however, is described as a more basic-skills oriented approach in the study, the story says. Math Expressions, meanwhile, seems to take a more integrated approach. So make of that what you will. The study can be found here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.