Mathematics Preparation for Algebra
Site Selection CriteriaSchools profiled for the National Math Panel: Critical Foundations for Algebra must meet the following criteria:
Schools must demonstrate student achievement in mathematics that meets the requirements of adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind.
In addition, the school must meet two of the following criteria:
1. The pre-K-8 mathematics curriculum focuses on a limited number of key critical topics and prepares students for success in algebra. This is measured through a review of the school/district scope and sequence for mathematics focusing on fluency with whole numbers, algorithms, problem solving, and fractions as well as aspects of measurement and geometry that prepare students for algebra.
2. The student achievement in mathematics, as measured by valid and reliable instruments, shows higher levels of student performance at the advanced and proficient levels than state averages. This is measured through a review of school/district achievement data as reported to the state department of education for purposes of meeting adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind.
3. The school or district (depending on grade configuration) shows 50% or more students enrolled in algebra at the eighth-grade level and an increasing proportion enrolled and demonstrating success over the past 2-3 years. A review of student achievement and enrollment data shows an increase in the proportion of students taking Algebra I at the eighth grade level.
Schools were nominated for this topic in one of two ways: 1) national mathematics professional organizations, including associations and networks, knowledgeable about current mathematics programs and practices in elementary and middle schools were asked to nominate sites that met the selection criteria, or 2) the school was recommended by individuals, often at the state level, familiar with state achievement data, high-performing school mathematics programs, and curriculum implementation related to the featured research-based practices (including researchers and staff in organizations with expertise in these areas).
DWW contractors then analyzed the achievement data and implementation of research-based practices by the nominated schools, as described above.
The final selection among the schools that met the necessary criteria to be profiled was made with a goal of providing a range of examples to illustrate:
- a range of different elementary and middle school grade-level configurations and school structures;
- different approaches to instruction, including a range of core curricula;
- varied types of communities and locations;
- comprehensive approaches to implementing the practices; and
- clearly articulated strategies for accomplishing one or more practices.