ERIC Number: ED419012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Constraints and Limitations in Evaluating Math Curricular Reform Efforts: Pacesetter Math Case Study.
Camara, Wayne J.
This paper addresses the challenges and strategies of evaluating curricular reforms in secondary schools by presenting a case study of the College Board's Pacesetter Math course, a fourth level course that was entering its third year in 1995-96. The Pacesetter math course is intended to be an alternative to more traditional pre-calculus courses, and is designed for a range of students with differing interests, career intentions, and mathematics preparation. The culminating assessment is completed over two course periods, and is a standard part of the course. New Pacesetter teachers complete an intensive staff training course. Pacesetter math, at the time of the evaluation, was being implemented in 46 school districts and 130 schools. With no available control group and no pre/post design, the evaluation of the Pacesetter math course was largely descriptive, and focused on 45 teachers and a sub-sample of 24 teachers. The Pacesetter curriculum appeared to be more effective for some students than others. Those who did the best generally liked math and had done well in math courses in the past. Because of the work load and the novel ways for students to work, Pacesetter may be more appropriate for honors students. Overall, results of the study suggest that evaluation of curricular reform may be quite problematic, due to a lack of appropriate assessments, difficulties in assessing student growth, contextual factors, and the constraints in soliciting participation from teachers and schools. (Contains seven tables and six references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: College Entrance Examination Board; Constraints; Reform Efforts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).