Independent Research Confirms Seventh Graders' Test Scores Soar With Pearson's Prentice Hall Middle School Math Curriculum

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Students improve 27 points in math computation skills.

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The findings are particularly compelling given the diverse sample included in the Prentice Hall Middle School Math efficacy study.

President Obama has put the nation on notice that one of his top education priorities is to improve U.S. students' performance in mathematics, and advance the country's much-publicized below average standing globally. What the new Administration might not yet know is that a recent independent research study confirms that schools teaching with Pearson's Prentice Hall Middle School Math 2008 curriculum are making those exact gains that the President is mandating.

First year data from an independent efficacy study have shown that seventh grade students learning with Pearson's Prentice Hall Middle School Math achieved learning gains from pre- to post-testing of 27 points in computation, 22 points in math communication, 18 points in math vocabulary, 14 points in concepts and estimation, and seven points in problem-solving and data interpretation. These students also showed statistically significant gains over the control group on a standardized assessment test implemented in the study: Prentice Hall Middle School Math students outperformed control students by 17.6 points in math computation on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).

The independent study, conducted by Planning, Research, and Evaluation Services (PRES Associates, Inc.), also reported that all categories of students showed improvement over time: male, female, White, Hispanic, and African American, special education and non-special education students.

PRES Associates president Dr. Mariam Azin said, "In addition to the significant findings about improved math understanding and competence, the other compelling outcome from the study is that students studying with the Pearson Prentice Hall Middle School Math program had more positive perceptions about the technology, types of practice problems in their math texts, and the practice workbooks as compared to control students." She added, "Also, the teachers were more satisfied with the program, saying they were better able to make connections between math and other disciplines, engage students in the applications of math in a variety of contexts, and teach various methods to solve math problems."

Pearson's Prentice Hall Middle School Math was created by a team of the nation's leading math experts, led by Dr. Randall Charles Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics at San Jose State University and past vice president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. Dr. Charles said, "This kind of independent study is critical to ensure that we are consistently evaluating and improving our approaches to math education."

Dr. Charles links mastery of math skills - most importantly, algebra - to the long-term fiscal health of our economy and future generations. He added, "Virtually all of the research in recent years confirms that in order for our students to compete globally, they simply must improve significantly in their understanding of math concepts and skills. Findings from this research study tell us that we are on track to help U.S. students leap ahead and assume their roles as leaders in the 21st century economy."

"This independent randomized, control trial efficacy study, designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse, demonstrates the significant impact of Prentice Hall Middle School Math on student math achievement," said Marcy Baughman, Pearson's director of academic research. "The findings are particularly compelling given the diverse sample included in the Prentice Hall Middle School Math efficacy study." She added, "These efficacy studies are critical to Pearson and to educators; we will continue to invest in this type of research to demonstrate program efficacy and to inform the development of our next generations of math curriculum."

Pearson's vice president for Mathematics Mike Evans said, "Every school district in America is focused on the importance of algebra and college-readiness. This efficacy study validates Prentice Hall Middle School Math's critical role in providing students the rock-solid foundation they will need to be successful in their high school and college math courses."

Conducted during the 2007-2008 school year, the PRES Associates' study assessed 922 seventh grade students from five schools in Michigan, New York, Florida, Colorado, and Kentucky.

One veteran teacher participating in the study said, "The whole program is probably the best I've ever seen on the market."

Pearson's Prentice Hall Middle School Math is a research-based curriculum aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Focal Points. The program is centered on comprehensive mathematics instruction supported by daily assessment, built-in intervention, problem-solving, vocabulary support, flexible, innovative technology, and powerful test preparation.

Across the nation, more than a million students in all 50 states are learning with Prentice Hall Middle School Math. The curriculum's embedded student support tools such as the Instant Check Systemâ„¢ and "Go for Help" icons ensure students are making daily progress and point students to a helping hand for every lesson.

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to

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