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Standards based Mathematics Curricula and Secondary Students' Performance on Standardized Achievement Tests

Michael R. Harwell, Thomas R. Post, Yukiko Maeda, Jon D. Davis, Arnold L. Cutler, Edwin Anderson, Jeremy A. Kahan 

January 2007, Volume 38, Issue 1, Page 71

The current study examined the mathematical achievement of high school studentsenrolled for 3 years in one of three NSF funded Standards-based curricula (IMP,CMIC, MMOW). The focus was on traditional topics in mathematics as measured bysubtests of a standardized achievement test and a criterion-referenced test of mathe-matics achievement. Students generally scored at or above the national mean on theachievement subtests. Hierarchical linear modeling results showed that prior mathe-matics knowledge was a significant but modest predictor of achievement, student SEShad a moderate effect, and increasing concentrations of African American studentsin a classroom were associated with a stronger effect of attendance on achievement. No differences on the standardized achievement subtests emerged among theStandards-based curricula studied once background variables were taken into account. The two suburban districts providing data for the criterion-referenced test achievedwell above the national norm.

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