Jordan Rickles Jan 9, 2009 Rac Ed288 Sec 25


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Jordan Rickles Jan 9, 2009 Rac Ed288 Sec 25

  1. 1. <ul><li>The 8 th Grade Mathematics Selection Process and Effects on High School Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Project Overview :: January 9, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Jordan Rickles </li></ul>
  2. 2. Motivation <ul><li>About half of California 8 th Graders take algebra while the other half take a “pre-algebra” course (a small percentage take geometry or higher) </li></ul><ul><li>Debate about which course is best for students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early access to algebra could provide greater access to higher mathematics in high school and college eligibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early failure in algebra could taint hopes of future mathematics success and encourage high school dropout </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Policy Relevance <ul><li>Push to enroll 8 th graders in algebra since early 2000s </li></ul><ul><li>In June 2008 California SBE voted to require all 8 th graders to take algebra CST within 3 years </li></ul><ul><li>In December 2008 the California Superior Court blocked the SBE decision :: appeal likely. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Current Literature <ul><li>Current research literature supports taking algebra in 8 th grade (Smith, 1996; Ma, 2005) and more rigorous course-taking (Attewell & Domina, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Brookings report finds negative effect if all 8 th graders are placed in algebra (Loveless, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Validity of current research base questionable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selection bias a major concern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies do not address attrition (i.e., dropouts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studies based on out-of-date survey data </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Current Study Objectives <ul><li>First, focus on the selection process to better understand potential selection bias in previous and future research </li></ul><ul><li>Second, estimate 8 th grade algebra causal effects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine variation in the effect across students & schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine robustness of causal inference to various methods for estimating the effect </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Propensity score matching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Covariate adjustment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SEM </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Research Questions 1 & 2 <ul><li>How do schools decide to place students in algebra or pre-algebra? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who makes the decision? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What formal policies are in place to guide the decision? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What informal practices are used to guide the decision? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What data are used to inform the decision? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How does the 8 th grade math course selection process vary across schools? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Research Questions 3 & 4 <ul><li>How does selection into a pre-algebra vs. algebra course influence future educational outcomes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful completion of algebra in high school? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Algebra proficiency as measured by the CST? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passing the math component of the CAHSEE? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taking advanced math courses in high school? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completing high school? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do the effects of 8 th grade math placement vary across students (i.e., are there differential effects based on prior math proficiency)? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Methods & Data <ul><li>Interview key school personnel to learn about the selection process (RQ 1 & 2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct interviews in 15 to 20 LAUSD middle schools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quantitative analysis of selection (RQ 1 & 2) and HS outcomes (RQ 3 & 4) based on LAUSD administrative data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Longitudinal student data for two cohorts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2003-04 8 th graders and 2006-07 8 th graders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Data through 2007-08 school year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use propensity score matching for primary analysis </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>This PowerPoint is copyrighted by Jordan Rickles of UCLA’s Grad School of Education/Information Studies ©2009 </li></ul>