Math in Focus: Strong-Huttig School District

At a glance

  • Demonstrates a Rationale
  • Program: Math in Focus®: Singapore Math® by Marshall Cavendish®
  • Subject: Math
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study
  • Grade Level: Elementary
  • Region: Southeast
  • District Urbanicity: Rural
  • District Size: Small
  • District: Strong-Huttig School District, Strong, AR
  • Outcome Measure: Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment, and Accountability Program
  • Evaluation Period: 2012–2013
  • Study Conducted by: HMH Research

Strong-Huttig School District is a rural district in Strong, Arkansas, with one elementary and one high school. The district has a current enrollment of about 400 students in Grades K–12. The professional staff includes 94 teachers, with approximately 50 support personnel and administrators.

Strong-Huttig School District is eligible for Title I assistance. Ninety-four percent of the students in the district are Black (55%) or White (39%), and the remaining student body consists of students identified as Hispanic (6%). Twelve percent of the students have an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

The Arkansas Comprehensive Testing, Assessment, and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) is taken by all public school students, Grades 3–8, in the spring. The test includes assessments of English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and writing.

At Grades 3–5, the math ACTAAP is comprised of multiple-choice and open-ended response items from five skill areas including Number and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, and Data Analysis and Probability.

In Arkansas, students’ test scores can be categorized into one of four levels of mastery including Level 1 (Advanced), Level 2 (Proficient), Level 3 (Basic), and Level 4 (Below Basic). Students scoring at the Proficient or Advanced levels demonstrate solid academic performance for the grade tested.

5 3 Math In Focus Research And Efficacy Graph P13 1
FIGURE 1. Percent of Students Scoring Proficient/Advanced

To determine if Math in Focus had an impact on learning, student ACTAAP 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, and 5. These findings are presented in Figure 1.

The comparison of achievement scores revealed that at all grade levels examined, the percentage of students scoring proficient or higher were greater in 2013, after using Math in Focus, than the previous year with an average gain of over 19%.

This one-year examination of the implementation of Math in Focus at Strong-Huttig School District revealed that the program was associated with increased mathematics achievement.