March 8, 2023

Rounding Up: An Analysis of Math Curriculum Effectiveness Studies

By Thomas Gold | Kristen Carroll | Leonard D.T. Newby | Melissa Steel King

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According to the 2022 NAEP results, math proficiency is declining across the country at an alarming rate. To address the concerning numbers, school systems are looking to adopt math curricula that meet rigorous mathematics standards, improve teachers’ content knowledge and instruction, and support the diverse needs of students. Existing research can be an important tool to guide these decisions — but how well do current studies capture the effectiveness of high-quality math curricula?

In Rounding Up: An Analysis of Math Curriculum Effectiveness Studies, we describe current approaches to assessing the effectiveness of math curricula and identify opportunities to tailor future studies to the needs of practitioners who rely on research to help make curriculum and other decisions.

We also created A Planning Toolkit for Math Curriculum Research, a companion resource for district leaders and staff as they explore new math curricula for their schools and students. It provides information to help leaders consume and conduct research on math curricula — from reviewing existing research to planning their own impact study.

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