Independent Research Shows Sixth Graders' Math Achievement Significantly Increases with Pearson's CMP2

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Mathematical Reasoning, Problem-Solving, and Communications Skills Improve; Teachers Laud Program's "Superior Quality"

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I loved using the math book and learned new things. That book is very important to me because I always wanted to learn how to divide fractions and I learned it - and very clearly.

With recent reports indicating that the U.S. is still lagging behind other countries in math proficiency, schools are mandating hard-core facts that validate the effectiveness of education programs as they look to improve students' math understanding.

Leading education publisher Pearson continues to invest in third party research to validate the efficacy of its programs. A recent study reports on the company's CMP2 - Connected Mathematics Project and gains of sixth graders in math proficiency.

An independent efficacy research study The Effects of Connected Mathematics Project 2 on Student Performance, conducted by Dr. Rebecca Eddy of Claremont Graduate University's Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research, reported that CMP2 students demonstrated significantly greater gains in problem-solving, math communication, and math reasoning strategies than their peers using other math programs as evidenced by performance on the Balanced Assessment of Mathematics (BAM). In addition, CMP2 students demonstrated significant improvement from pretest to posttest in the areas of concepts and problems, estimation, and computations as evidenced by performance on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS).

The research also indicated that CMP2 students reported slightly more positive attitudes toward math and less math anxiety than students using other math programs. These findings are particularly encouraging since positive student attitudes toward math can affect their achievement. One student noted, "I loved using the math book and learned new things. That book is very important to me because I always wanted to learn how to divide fractions and I learned it - and very clearly."

Principal investigator Dr. Rebecca M. Eddy said, "This study was designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)." She added, "The Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences has declared that the strongest evidence of effectiveness comes from 'well-conducted randomized controlled trials that do not have problems with randomization or attrition.' This study meets these criteria, and we hope to achieve the highest evidence standards from the WWC for this study. Results of the CMP2 study will be a great help to school decision-makers who look to the WWC as the trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education."

Eddy continued, "Overall, teachers using CMP2 said they believed the program to be of 'superior quality' to other programs and students reported that math was more fun and more interesting when using CMP2, in comparison to students using other math programs."

One teacher participating in the study said, "The summary portion helped because it helped the students put it into words; they didn't have to show me how to do it, they were able to tell me how to do it verbally."

Another teacher commented, "My expertise in mathematics has improved after teaching with CMP2 this year."

"An important finding was the suggestion that CMP2 may help to close the achievement gap between minority students and non-minority. The difference in achievement between Latino students and Caucasian students on the BAM assessment was significantly smaller than the difference between Caucasian and Latino students who used other math programs," said Eddy.

"The findings from this independent randomized, control trial study indicate that programs approaching mathematics with a focus on applying math skills to the real world and learning through discussion are helping students succeed," said Marcy Baughman, Pearson's director of academic research. She added, "Rigorous scientific studies, such as this one, are essential to demonstrate program effectiveness to school districts responsible for meeting AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). We were honored to partner with diverse urban and suburban school districts to demonstrate the effectiveness of CMP2 with students of all ability levels and backgrounds. Pearson has committed to an ongoing investment in scientific research to demonstrate program efficacy and to inform how we structure the next generations of our programs."

Pearson's Connected Mathematics Project 2 was developed at Michigan State University by a team of leading mathematics experts with funding from the National Science Foundation. Michigan State University's Elizabeth Phillips, a senior academic specialist in the department of Mathematics and Science Education, said, "The goal of CMP2 is to ensure all students can reason and communicate proficiently in mathematics. They should have knowledge of and skill in the use of the vocabulary, forms of representation, materials, tools, techniques, and intellectual methods of the discipline of mathematics, including the ability to define and solve problems with reason, insight, inventiveness and proficiency." She added, "The efficacy study provides evidence that the curriculum can meet the needs of diverse populations of middle grades students. In particular, we are pleased that both minorities and non-minorities have excelled in problem solving and reasoning. The combination of problem solving and reasoning with skills provides a sound foundation for continuing success in mathematics."

The Claremont Graduate University study tracked the performance of 914 students using CMP2 across geographically diverse schools in urban and suburban communities in California, Oregon, and Texas during the 2007-2008 school year. The student sample included a total of 509 students in the treatment group and 405 students in the control group.

The report findings are from the first year of a two-year study. A final research report on CMP2's effectiveness will be released in September 2009.

The study adds to the growing research showing an inquiry-based approach to mathematics can help students learn effectively. To help parents better understand the program and how it works, Pearson and the Family Education Network launched http://www.MathSupportforParents.com, which offers tips and insights from teachers and students addressing parental questions, including ways to help children learn at home.

Across the U.S., more than a million students in thousands of school districts in every state are learning with the CMP2 program. For more information, visit CMP2 or http://www.pearsonschool.com

About CMP2- Connected Mathematics Project - CMP2 has been classroom tested for five years as part of a new National Science Foundation grant prior to publication to ensure student success with the materials. CMP2 is built on the same problem-centered, research-based approach proven successful with students as the original Connected Math Project for middle school. Students learn important mathematical ideas in the context of engaging, interconnected problems. This exploration leads to understanding and the development of higher-order thinking skills and problem-solving strategies. CMP2 is an effective combination of content and methodology designed to foster more "a-ha!" moments, regardless of a student's skill level or learning style. CMP2 now includes an updated technology component to support teachers and students. StudentEXPRESS™ provides an interactive version of the textbook, with built-in homework help. For more information visit http://connectedmath.msu.edu/.

About Pearson - Pearson is the global leader in educational publishing, assessment, information and services, helping people of all ages to learn at their own pace, in their own way. For students preK-12, Pearson provides effective and innovative curriculum products in all available media, educational assessment and measurement for students and teachers, student information systems, and teacher professional development and certification programs. Pearson's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, AGS, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, TeacherVision and many others. The company's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. http://www.pearsonschool.com

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Kate Miller
Pearson
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