Preparation, Placement, Proficiency: Improving Middle Grades Math Performance
This Policy & Practice brief is based on an extended analysis of 8th grade mathematics placements in the 303 California schools that participated in our 2010 Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades study.
The new study, Improving Middle Grades Mathematics Performance, uses longitudinal student data from nearly 70,000 8th grade students to look at the preparedness of students who were placed in Algebra I in grade 8, and how successful these students were as measured by the California Standards Tests.
This brief presents highlights from that analysis, a discussion of the results in the current context of Common Core standards adoption, and implications for educators and policymakers. In addition to concluding that a "one-size-fits-all" approach doesn't work well for math placement, it looks at other policies and practices that correlate with higher school achievement in grade 8 mathematics.