NEWTON, MA | June 18, 2007
The latest New York state math exams show substantial gains for New York City, especially in the middle grades, where students have been using a curriculum including Impact Mathematics, developed by Education Development Center (EDC) for the past five years. Impact Mathematics is published by Glencoe McGraw-Hill.
According to the New York State Education Department which released the test scores this week, the percent of students in Grades 3-8 meeting or exceeding state math standards rose by 8.1 points between 2006 and 2007—representing the largest increase since 1999. In addition, scores indicated a shrinking of the achievement gap between students of different racial backgrounds, while they surpassed gains attained by students in the rest of the state. Complete results (PDF, 3.6MB).
Developed by EDC specifically for middle school students, Impact Mathematics is a comprehensive program that takes a developmental approach to teaching algebra over the three years of middle school. Impact Mathematics appeals to students because it uses narrative and realistic contexts, and interspersed throughout are cartoons of “math thinkers in action”—middle school students who explain how they approach math problems.
Impact Mathematics was developed between 1997 and 2000 under the leadership of EDC project directors Faye Ruopp and Cynthia Orrell.
“This year’s improvement in every grade is something to celebrate,” said New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills. “The fact that children are achieving higher standards in the middle grades is especially significant…We asked successful schools how they did it. School leaders tell us they start with high expectations for all children, and are keeping a constant focus on the curriculum, with extensive professional development for teachers and extra help for students.”