Middle School Math Acceleration and Equitable Access to 8th Grade Algebra: Evidence from the Wake County Public School System

Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, May 2015, Vol. 37, No. 1S, pp. 80S–101S DOI: 10.3102/0162373715576076

Posted: 12 Feb 2016

See all articles by Shaun Dougherty

Shaun Dougherty

University of Connecticut - Neag School of Education

Joshua Goodman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Darryl Hill

Wake County Public School System

Erica Litke

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Taking algebra by eighth grade is considered an important milestone on the pathway to college readiness. We highlight a collaboration to investigate one district’s effort to increase middle school algebra course-taking. In 2010, the Wake County Public Schools began assigning middle school students to accelerated math and eighth-grade algebra based on a defined prior achievement metric.This policy reduced the relationship between course assignment and student characteristics such as income and race/ethnicity, while increasing its relationship to academic skill. The policy increased the share of students on track for algebra by eighth grade. Students placed in accelerated math were exposed to higher-skilled peers but larger classes. Future work will assess impacts on subsequent achievement and course-taking outcomes.

Keywords: mathematics education, middle schools, equity, algebra, regression discontinuity

Suggested Citation

Dougherty, Shaun and Goodman, Joshua and Hill, Darryl and Litke, Erica and Page, Lindsay C., Middle School Math Acceleration and Equitable Access to 8th Grade Algebra: Evidence from the Wake County Public School System (2015). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, May 2015, Vol. 37, No. 1S, pp. 80S–101S DOI: 10.3102/0162373715576076. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730830

Shaun Dougherty (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Neag School of Education ( email )

CT
United States

Joshua Goodman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/joshua-goodman/

Darryl Hill

Wake County Public School System ( email )

5625 Dillard Drive
Cary, NC 27518
United States

Erica Litke

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Lindsay C. Page

University of Pittsburgh School of Education ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-648-7166 (Phone)

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