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Topic: Everyday Mathematics Gets Qualified Nod From U.S. Ed. Dept.
Replies: 9   Last Post: Sep 27, 2006 11:19 AM

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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
Everyday Mathematics Gets Qualified Nod From U.S. Ed. Dept.
Posted: Sep 21, 2006 12:11 PM
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From Education Week, Wednesday, September 20,
2006, Volume 26, Issue 4, p. 8. See
Much-Used Elementary Math Program Gets Qualified Nod From U.S. Ed. Dept.

By David J. Hoff

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.

SIDEBAR: 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. [See]

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’Äôs 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

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

The What Works Clearinghouse is the Education
Department’Äôs attempt to identify effective
curricula and The chool ps based on reviews of
research. Previously, it has released evaluations
of middle school curricula and character
education programs.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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