# The Effects of the Elevate Math Summer Program on Math Achievement and Algebra Readiness

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Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness

To raise math success rates in middle school, many schools and districts have implemented summer math programs designed to improve student preparation for algebra content in grade 8. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs. While students who participate typically experience learning gains, there is little rigorous evidence evaluating the effects of the programs on math achievement or readiness for algebra content. This study fills that void by rigorously examining the effects of one such summer program (the Elevate summer math program) on student achievement. In summer 2014, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF), the research team, and several Silicon Valley school districts collaborated on a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of the Elevate Math summer program on math achievement, algebra readiness, and attitudes toward math. The study focused on three primary questions: (1) What is the impact of the Elevate Math summer program on the math achievement and algebra readiness of rising grade 8 students?; (2) What is the impact of the Elevate Math summer program on math achievement in the math topic areas most closely aligned with the program's curriculum?; and (3) What is the impact of the Elevate Math summer program on the math interest and math self-efficacy of rising grade 8 students? The randomized controlled trial was conducted in summer 2014 at eight schools in six districts in California's Silicon Valley. Participating districts identified eligible students based on existing grade 6 California Standards Test (CST) data. The districts' enrollments range from 2,487 to 13,162, with an average of 9,426. The percentage of English learner students in each district ranges from 19% to 53%, with an average of 38%. Students were randomly assigned to a treatment group that received access to the program at the beginning of the summer or to a control group that received access to the program later in the summer. Math achievement was measured using the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project (MDTP) Algebra Readiness test, which was administered to the treatment and control groups on the first and last days of their participation in the summer program. The Elevate Math summer program significantly improved math achievement and algebra readiness among participating grade 7 students. The program improved the math achievement of the treatment group compared with the control group across several metrics. The Elevate Math summer program also had a positive, statistically significant effect on algebra readiness. Despite the Elevate Math summer program's effects, students' math achievement at the end of the program suggested that many students were still not ready for the algebra content in grade 8 math courses. There were no significant impacts on math interest or math self-efficacy. The estimated level of interest in math for the treatment group was higher than that of the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant. [The Silicon Valley Education Foundation and several Silicon Valley school districts collaborated on this study. For the Regional Educational Laboratory West report, "The Effects of the Elevate Math Summer Program on Math Achievement and Algebra Readiness. REL 2015-096" (2015), see ED558157.]

Descriptors: Summer Programs, Mathematics Instruction, Mathematics Achievement, Readiness, Algebra, Program Effectiveness, Middle School Students, Randomized Controlled Trials, Student Interests, Self Efficacy, Grade 7, Grade 8, Mathematics Tests, Student Surveys, Mathematical Concepts

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Author: **Snipes, Jason; Huang, Chun-Wei; Jaquet, Karina; Finkelstein, Neal**

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2981&id=ED567052