GO Math!: Holyoke Public School District

At a glance

  • Demonstrates a Rationale
  • Program: Go Math!®
  • Subject: Math
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study
  • Grade Level: Elementary, Middle
  • Region: Northeast
  • District Urbanicity: Urban
  • District Size: Medium
  • District: Holyoke Public School District, MA
  • Outcome Measure: Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System
  • Evaluation Period: 2012–2013
  • Study Conducted by: HMH Research

Holyoke Public School District is an urban district in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with 9 elementary schools and 2 secondary schools. The district has a current enrollment of over 5,500 students in Grades Pre-K–12. The professional staff includes 503 teachers, with approximately 497 support personnel and administrators.

Holyoke Public School District is eligible for Title I assistance. Seventy-nine percent of the students are Hispanic and the remaining student body consists of students identified as White (16%) or other (5%). Fourteen percent of the students have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) is a test taken by all public school students in the spring. The test covers subjects such as ELA, mathematics, science, and history. The test measures performance based on the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework Learning Standards.

At Grades 3–5, the math MCAS comprises multiple choice, short-answer, and open response items covering four domains equally distributed across the tests: Geometry, Measurements and Data, Number and Operations in Base Ten and Fractions, and Algebraic Thinking.

In Massachusetts, students’ test scores can be categorized into one of four levels of mastery: Level 1: Advanced, Level 2: Proficient, Level 3: Needs Improvement, and Level 4: Warning. Students scoring at Advanced and Proficient are said to have mastered the Massachusetts Learning Standards.

To determine if HMH GO Math! had an impact on learning, student MCAS mathematics test scores from the spring of 2012, prior to using the program, and the spring of 2013, after one year of usage, were obtained for Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6. These findings are presented in Figure 1.

5 4 Go Math Research Base Holyoke Graph Fig1
FIGURE 1. Percent of Students Proficient/Advanced

The comparison of achievement scores revealed that at all grade levels examined, the percentage of students scoring at Proficient or higher was greater in 2013, after using GO Math! than the previous year with an average gain of over 5%.

This one-year examination of the implementation of GO Math! © 2012 at Holyoke Public School District revealed that the program was associated with increased mathematics achievement.