Investigations Ineffective At Teaching Math

At least according to the independent research conducted by the Institute of Education Sciences.

The survey looked at four elementary mathematics curricula – Saxon, Math Expressions, Investigations, and SFAW. Among the conclusions noted are:

  • Student math achievement was significantly higher in schools assigned to Math Expressions and Saxon, than in schools assigned to Investigations and SFAW.
  • Math achievement in the two more effective curricula was not significantly different, nor was math achievement in schools assigned to the less effective curricula.

The researchers sought to determine whether the different curricula perfromed better under different circumstances – for instance was one more effective in districts with large portions of students on free and reduced lunches, or did large amounts of teacher professional development play a role in student performance.  The researchers found that there were no instances where Investigations or SFAW demonstrated a statistical advantage over Saxon or Math Expressions.

Perhaps that explains why TERC needed an NSF grant to develop their curricula, an NSF grant to develop programs to market and sell their curricula to school districts, an NSF grant to develop program to convince parents of how wonderful the curricula is, an NSF grant to develop a program whereby teachers become TERC Math Specialists, and multiple NSF grants to help school districts pay for the curricula.  See, if the program was effective at all schools would be clamoring to buy it.  Since it isn’t effective and no independent, verifiable studies have ever been conducted to demonstrate it’s effectiveness, TERC had to find a different way to sell their curricula.  They found it when the NSF ponied up taxpayer money to develop the program, market it to school districts, pay for teacher professional development, and purchase the instructional materials.  Why else would any school distrcit choose to a substandard program like Investigations – unless it was free?

You can find the entire study here.

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3 Responses to “Investigations Ineffective At Teaching Math”

  1. BLACK VELVET BRUCE LI : School Districts Abandon Math Investigations Says:

    […] have dropped it.  About the same time, the Institute of Education Sciences has concluded that Math Investigations is relatively ineffective at teaching math compared to other instructional programs available today.  We’re staying […]

  2. Understand How Autistic Children Learn Before You Try To Teach | Online Educational Resources Says:

    […] Investigations Ineffective At Teaching Math « PWC Education Reform … […]

  3. NSF sends more money down the drain « PWC Education Reform Blog Says:

    […] did the US Dept of Education’s What Works Clearing House when they attempted to gauge the effectiveness of the four most “popular” elementary mathematics programs.  The WWC’s study was […]


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