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Math Reform & Teacher Quality Matter!

A few years ago, three researchers from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) received attention when their research claimed that when one removes the effects of students' socioeconomic differences, public school students perform as well as, or even better than, private school pupils on national mathematics exams.

Now, these same researchers are gaining attention once again. Based on their research results, their claim is that the previous significant positive differences in mathematics achievement are due to two key factors: teacher credentials and reform-oriented mathematics instruction.

Using NAEP data for grades 4 and 8, the researchers determined that public school students were not only more likely to be taught by certified teachers...but also more likely to experience reform-oriented curricular approaches. Though more than a dozen potential variables were tested, only the reform-nature of the mathematics-instruction and teacher-credential variables showed statistically significant relationships.

Now, how can we get the crazy world to stop and consider such research and its conclusions....rather than continue to operate by the mystical seat-of-the-pants.

Source: American Journal of Education, November 2008