Intensified Algebra Efficacy Study

Students who fail algebra in the ninth grade are significantly less likely than their peers to graduate from high school on time. This project intends to test a common support strategy for at-risk students that provides an extra period of algebra, commonly known as a "double dose" condition. The Intensified Algebra (IA) is an intervention that addresses both the academic and non-academic needs of students.

Full Description: 

Student success in algebra continues to be a problem as many U.S. students are underprepared when they enter high school. Students who fail algebra in the ninth grade are significantly less likely than their peers to graduate from high school on time. This project intends to test a common support strategy for at-risk students that provides an extra period of algebra, commonly known as a "double dose" condition. The Intensified Algebra (IA) is an intervention that addresses both the academic and non-academic needs of students. It is set of cohesive, integrated, and rigorous resources that builds student motivation and confidence. IA uses a blended model of instruction with a strong technology component designed to support the productive use of expanded instructional time that has shown evidence of promise in earlier studies.

This project is intended to rigorously test the impact of IA on student outcomes in a school-level random assignment design involving 6 districts, 55 high schools and over 4,000 9th grade students across two cohorts. Within each district, eligible schools are randomly assigned to either implement IA or to use the school's already established "double dose" algebra course. Analyses will use hierarchical linear models that explicitly take into account the clustering of students within classrooms and classrooms within schools. The study investigates short-term outcomes including end-of-9th grade algebra learning, passing rate for algebra I and attitudes toward mathematics. Longer-term outcomes include subsequent course-taking patterns and performances. The study examines fidelity of implementation and key implementation factors with descriptive and correlational analyses.

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