Burris, Carol Corbett, Heubert, Jay P., & Levin, Henry M.
Math Acceleration for All
South Side High School; Columbia University
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Discusses math acceleration and heterogeneous grouping. Summarizes study of a middle school program that eliminated math tracking.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Improving Achievement in Math and Science
Vol. 61, No. 5, pp. 68-71
- In 1995 South Side Middle School in the Rockville Centre School District of New York eliminated tracked math classes, adopted a universal accelerated math program, and instituted heterogeneous grouping, with dramatic results.
- By every measure students benefited from studying accelerated math in heterogeneously grouped classes.
- Universal math acceleration helped close the achievement gaps associated with poverty and ethnicity.
- Initial high achievers, especially Blacks and Latinos, also shared gains in achievement. Universal acceleration can work in the US.
- Universal acceleration did not increase the percentages of students who did not take math courses or who took math courses below their grade levels; indeed, when compared with earlier cohorts, more students took math courses at higher levels.
- Students from a low socioeconomic background who participated in the accelerated program had approximately the same probability of completing Sequential III math (0.37) as did students of middle or high socioeconomic backgrounds who attended South Side before universal acceleration (0.38).
- Being an African American or Latino student had been associated with lower odds of completing advanced math courses, but universal acceleration almost entirely offset these previously lower odds.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Academic Achievement, Detracking, Heterogeneous Grouping, Math, Tracking
Method of Analysis:
Interrupted Time Series
Unit of Analysis:
- Longitudinal student achievement data and demographic data
- Evaluation of the reform used longitudinal student achievement data from six student cohorts: the last three 6th grade cohorts that did not receive universal math acceleration and the first three 6th grade cohorts that received it.
- The evaluation used achievement and demographic data to examine the academic consequences of providing all students with a high-level, accelerated math curriculum. The reform took five years to plan and implement (1994-1998).