Almost all the math programs used by middle schools lack evidence of effectiveness, says a federal evaluation. Education Week reports:
Most of the off-the-shelf mathematics programs used in middle schools across the country have little or no rigorous evidence attesting to their effectiveness, concludes a federal research review released last week.
The U.S. Department of Education analysis was based on a review of studies undergirding 44 math programs used in grades 6-9, including some of the nation’s most popular textbooks for those grade levels.
. . . The researchers found only five that had a research record strong enough to meet their standards. Of those, just two — a pair of computer-based algebra programs called I CAN Learn Mathematics and Cognitive Tutor — had studies showing that students actually learned more with their programs compared with other programs.
The researchers set high standards, preferring programs backed by randomized controlled studies. Programs that didn’t make the list may be effective, but there’s no research.
Connected Math, Saxon Math and a computer-based program called Expert Mathematician also made the short list.