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What Do We Know?: Seeking Effective Math And Science Instruction


"Historically, curriculum choice at the local level has often been made by a committee that decides which curriculum to adopt based on considerations only peripherally related to student achievement--such as state-imposed standards, recommendations of others, cost, and presentations by publishers' representatives. Choice of professional development models follows a similar pattern. Indeed, there has been very little else available to guide school districts in their curriculum selection process, since for most curricula and textbooks the only data at hand are publishers' figures on the number of adoptions. That has been changing. ...

The focus of this review, reflecting the GE Foundation's interests, was to identify current math and science curricula and professional development at the middle and high school levels that showed evidence of positive impact on student achievement. Our goal was to come up with enough math and science curricula with relatively credible evaluations to provide some choice to districts and schools that wanted guidance in selecting a curriculum and that wished to use effectiveness as a selection criterion."