Middle School Program has No Discernible Effect?

So says the US Department of Education inthis report.

The program in question is the Connected Math Project (CMP) which is PWCS’ recommended instructional resource for many Middle School Math standards. Like TERC Investigations, CMP was not recommended for use in middle school classrooms in Virginia, and, like TERC Investigations, PWCS has decided to instruct teachers to use CMP whenever and wherever possible in the classroom. Rather than go through the difficulty of a full adoption of CMP, the district has simply been pushing teachers to use the materials even though they haven’t been approved.

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4 Responses to “Middle School Program has No Discernible Effect?”

  1. Kleong Says:

    Connected Mathematics materials support the vision of mathematics in Virginia, but the series is not recommended because the sequence of the course does not correlate with the Virginia Standards of Learning. This does not speak to the quality of the program.

    However, current textbooks adopted for middle school in PWCS, and in most divisions in the country, have NO reliable evidence supporting their effectiveness, according to the WWC.

    Singapore Math was also addressed by the What Works Clearinghouse.
    “No studies of Singapore Math that fall within the scope of the Middle School Math review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards.”

    Furthermore, 95% of the text series submitted to WWC either have NO evidence, or the evidence does not meet research standards. There would be NO math textbook series if PWCS followed the recommendations of WWC.

    • WestSeattleDan Says:

      If you examine the latest research from WWC at grade 1…. Saxon and Math Expressions are dominating TERC/Investigations and ScottForesman/Addison Wesley.

      More to come as they follow large groups as they progress through school.

      Note it appears that Everyday Math did not want to participate.

    • Kim Says:

      If you take the time to read the report you learn that only one of CMPs studies met the WWC’s standards for quality. That one report was used as the foundation for further analysis on whether CMP had an effect on student performance. The linked study was about the effectiveness of CMP on student performance, not whether studies of CMP’s effectiveness met the WWC’s standards of quality.

      In the study the WWC found that CMP neither increased nor decreased student scores relative to their peers. The study authors’ developed an index of the difference between the percentile rank of the average student taught under CMP and the average student in all other programs studied. The index was generally between + 50 and – 50. CMPs index was 0, hence the no discernible effect noted with the program.

      I question your assertion that the gaps in the CMP program are due to different pacing of instruction. As a colleague commented, with CMP most topics are covered, but they’re covered in such an incomplete and confusing manner that the instructional program itself hinders learning. I can’t help but wonder whether it was the incomplete and confusing nature of CMPs instructional approach which lead the VA DOE not to recommend it for 6th and 8th grades.

      Furthermore, use of not recommended materials as the primary instructional material is prohibited by state statute and PWC policy, unless those materials are approved by the local school board (as was the case with TERC Investigations). The state did not recommend CMP for 6th and 8th grades and the PWC school board did not adopt CMP for 6th, 7th, or 8th grades. If the school district is using CMP as a primary instructional material in any classroom for any topic, then it is violating both state statutes and county policies.

  2. ZeroSum Ruler Says:

    I’d like your input on how the CMP2 curriculum covers negative integers for my thesis.


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