While math achievement gaps among the nation’s fourth-graders have narrowed in recent years, achievement gaps evident in eighth grade have not changed. There is a clear need for interventions that can help middle-grades students develop critical pre-algebra concepts—rational number, ratio, and proportion concepts—to close the achievement gap in middle school.
EDC is conducting a pilot study of the Middle Grades Math Data Collaborative, funded by Schmidt Futures. The Collaborative is analyzing student interim assessment data to understand growth patterns in the mathematics skills of a national cohort of struggling middle-grade students. Researchers will develop metrics and models of math learning to identify strategies to improve students’ mathematics achievement.
Examples of the project’s activities include:
- Identify key mathematics skills and concepts that that enable students to successfully transition from arithmetic to pre-algebra, as well as concepts that are typical stumbling blocks
- Develop profiles of the mathematics achievement of disadvantaged students in geographically and demographically varied school and districts
- Identify classrooms that are particularly successful in supporting mathematics learning for students in poverty or with low prior achievement
- Leverage longitudinal data from over 10.2 million students across the United States to provide new insights into how to meet the needs of struggling mathematics learners
Northwest Evaluation Association