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School-Related Influences on Grade 8 Mathematics Performance in Massachusetts

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  • Sandra Stotsky, Rafael Bradley, and Eugene Warren

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    Abstract

    Less than one third of American eighth graders score in the two highest performance levels on the grade 8 mathematics test given by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Only a little over one third of Massachusetts eighth graders score at the two highest performance levels on the state’s own grade 8 mathematics test. In 2002, the Massachusetts Department of Education funded research to explore why there had been no significant growth in the percent of grade 8 students performing at the two highest levels on the state’s grade 8 mathematics tests. An analysis of quantitative data obtained from administrators and teachers in a representative sample of 60 schools throughout the state in 2003 identified school-based factors that were significantly associated with the 20 of the 60 schools that both increased above the state average increase the percent of grade 8 students performing at the two highest performance levels on the state’s grade 8 mathematics test and simultaneously decreased above the state average decrease the percent of grade 8 students performing at the lowest performance level. A significantly higher percent of teachers in these 20 schools reported spending a great deal of time reviewing and using test results, having a voice in the choice of their instructional materials, using accelerated and leveled algebra I classes to address the needs of above grade students, and less frequent use of calculators in non-algebra classes. At a time when teachers in all states are being held accountable for increasing the achievement of all their students, these findings warrant exploration on a nationwide scale.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Nonpartisan Education Review in its journal Nonpartisan Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-32

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    Handle: RePEc:teg:journl:v:1:y:2005:i:1:p:1-32

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    Web page: http://www.nonpartisaneducation.org

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    Keywords: education; policy;

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