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Integrating Curriculum Guides, Quarterly Benchmark Assessments, and Professional Development to Improve Student Learning in Mathematics

Abstract

"In this study teachers in a large urban school district in southern California used standards-based
curriculum guides, quarterly benchmark assessments, and focused professional development to
improve the achievement of their students in math content as measured by the California
Standards Test in mathematics and reported as part of each school's Annual Yearly Progress.
The average growth of the students in mathematics far out-paced their growth in English
Language Arts as well as the average growth for students in the county and the state in
mathematics. The findings support a three-pronged approach that consists of curriculum guides
that organize and pace the content standards and include model tasks for student outcomes
supported by standards-based quarterly benchmark assessments which give the teachers timely
feedback about student conceptual understanding of the standards. Even greater growth is seen
from students whose teachers attend research-based professional development."

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