An ambitious effort to improve science and math education in Alabama has generated academic gains for students, according to a study issued last week by the federal Institute of Education Sciences.
The study involved a randomized control trial to assess the effectiveness of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, an effort to provide teachers with intensive professional development, access to good instructional materials and technology, and in-school supports.
After one year, the effect on math achievement was positive and statistically significant, based on end-of-year test scores, the study says. That impact amounted to a gain of 2 percentile points—equivalent to about 28 more days of student progress—compared with students receiving conventional math instruction.
The effect on science achievement was not statistically significant, but students in the program gained 2 percentile points in reading.
A version of this article appeared in the February 29, 2012 edition of Education Week as STEM Learning