Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Core-Plus Mathematics’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Core-Plus Mathematics is a is a 4-year curriculum that replaces the traditional sequence with courses that each feature interwoven strands of algebra and functions, statistics and probability, geometry and trigonometry, and discrete mathematics. The curriculum emphasizes mathematical modeling, using technology to emphasize reasoning with multiple representations (verbal, numerical, graphical, and symbolic) and to focus on goals in which mathematical thinking and problem solving are central

The evidence for Core-Plus Mathematics covers students in 9th grade through 10th grade.

The outcomes examined include: general mathematics achievement. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Core-Plus Mathematics’s impact on each outcome:

  • General mathematics achievement: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 15 percentile points)

The studies looking into Core-Plus Mathematics had student samples that were in urban, suburban, rural areas in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, California, Idaho, and Colorado.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_coreplus_092110.pdf

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