Independent Research Study Confirms Prentice Hall Algebra Curriculum Prepares Students for Rigors of College Math

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Student/Teacher Digital Resources Help Scores Jump 38 Percentile Points in One Year

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Secondary students across the nation are ready to tackle the rigors of higher-level math after learning with Pearson's Prentice Hall Algebra 1, according to an independent research study conducted by Planning, Research, and Evaluation Services (PRES) Associates. Study data from research in five states confirmed that these students improved their assessment scores by 38 percentile points on both a multiple-choice test and an open-response test.

In addition, all students learning with Prentice Hall Algebra 1 significantly outperformed their peers not learning with the program by 14 percentile points on the open-response test.

"The outcomes of our scientific research study are particularly relevant and meaningful - to educators and parents as well as the research community - because success in algebra is a predictor for ensuring these students succeed throughout college and into their careers. We saw students learning with Prentice Hall Algebra 1 outpace their peers - and, in some cases, come from behind to surpass them in math achievement," said Miriam Resendez, Director of Research and Evaluation at PRES.

Prentice Hall math students in all subgroups -- females and males, special education students and non-special education, students of various ethnic/racial backgrounds, and students receiving free/reduced lunch and those not -- showed significant learning gains, according to study data.

Still, the nation's teenagers lag behind their international peers in 23 countries when assessed on their application of mathematics knowledge and skills to real-world tasks, reports the National Center for Education Statistics.

Mike Evans, head of Pearson's School Mathematics programs, is looking to reverse that trend. He said, "As educators, we know that the precipice of algebra is where we risk losing students. If they don't master basic algebra skills, they are in jeopardy of not making the transition to higher level math that is so necessary for competing in our global economy. This study validates our pedagogical approach that emphasizes visual learning and builds real-world critical thinking and problem solving skills."

Prentice Hall Algebra 1 is geared toward improving students' conceptual understanding of math and their problem-solving skills as emphasized in the new Common Core State Standards. Evans noted that the Algebra program - as well as all of Pearson's K-12 mathematics instruction - is aligned to the Common Core requirements.

Key elements of the program include an interactive digital path with video tutorials, embedded online practice, guided solutions, step-by-step examples, and automatically scored assessments that provide immediate feedback and remediation. Students in the research study commented that the technology helped to enhance their learning and provided a visual representation of the concepts to make them more understandable.

Pearson's digital resources for teachers - an online lesson planner, interactive classroom presentation tools and instant assessment analysis to track student performance - help to support classroom implementation of the program. In fact, 80 percent of teachers in the study agreed that the program's technology was easy to use and an effective tool for math instruction; 71 percent said the program saved them time when preparing lessons.

"A strong research base and independent efficacy studies are the unique hallmarks of Pearson curricula. The results of the Prentice Hall High School Math efficacy study, like the results of all of our rigorous research studies, help to inform our next generation of products. It also enables Pearson to provide superior support to students and educators with research-driven, effective programs," said Marcy Baughman, Pearson's Director for Academic Research.

PRES Associates conducted the randomized control trial study during the 2009-2010 school year, studying 1069 students in grades 8-12 and 32 math teachers spread across six schools in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Idaho, and Washington. The study will continue during the 2010-2011 school year in Geometry and Algebra 2 classrooms. The full report of first-year results can be accessed at http://www.pearsoned.com.

Learn more at http://www.pearsonschool.com.

About Pearson's Efficacy Research
Pearson has a history of ensuring its programs in all disciplines are supported by a wealth of data before they ever enter the classroom. Pearson also evaluates the impact of its curricula on student learning by engaging independent research firms and working with school districts across the nation to conduct research studies designed to meet the rigorous standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse. This efficacy research objectively determines the effectiveness of the program and examines best practices and instructional techniques that enable educators to use the programs with the most success. See our video to learn more.

About Pearson
Pearson has a vision of effective education: a virtuous circle of learning where powerful technologies enable teachers to assess students unobtrusively, diagnose their learning needs swiftly, prescribe personalized learning, and monitor student progress. This ongoing cycle of feedback to students, teachers, and parents begins by optimizing assessment data and putting it to work for continuous improvement in student progress and teaching effectiveness. For more, visit http://www.pearsonschool.com.

Contact:
Stacy Skelly
1.800.745.8489
Stacy.skelly (at) pearson (dot) com

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Pearson
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