ERIC Number: ED424292
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating the Impact of Science, Math and Technology Initiatives on Student Achievement: The Case of the New Jersey Statewide Systemic Initiative (NJSSI).
Fenster, Mark J.
The National Science Foundation's Statewide Systemic Initiative (SSI) program attempted to address concerns about student performance in science, mathematics, and technology education. The SSIs were supposed to increase and improve student learning in these areas by having challenging academic standards, a hands-on approach to instruction, the use of curricula relevant to students' lives, emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, the use of technology in the classroom, and assessments that reinforce these instructional practices. Over the last 4.5 years, the New Jersey SSI (NJSSI) spent $15 million SSI dollars. This evaluation centered on three questions: (1) do students learn more because of the SSI; (2) are they better equipped to apply what they are learning to everyday problems; and (3) are the inequities in performance among different groups of students being reduced? The NJSSI had some reach in 446 schools (19% of the schools in New Jersey), a little implementation in 409 schools, and no reach at all in 1,402 schools. Evaluation data came primarily from state-mandated assessments. No evidence was found for the first evaluation question; students in NJSSI schools did not learn more than their counterparts in schools without NJSSI affiliation. Evidence with respect to the second question was too limited, and the question could not be answered. With regard to question 3, it was found that inequities in performance had actually worsened. The knowledge gap between underserved school districts and the rest of the state increased on the state-mandated eighth grade assessment in mathematics during the time the NJSSI was in operation. In addition, the knowledge gap between students from affluent suburbs and urban students increased in Advanced Placement Calculus, Advanced Placement Biology, and Advanced Placement Computer Science. (Contains five figures, eight tables, and nine endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Technology, Equal Education, Low Income Groups, Mathematics Achievement, Mathematics Education, Program Evaluation, School Districts, Science Education, Sciences, Standards, Tables (Data), Technology Education, Urban Schools, Urban Youth
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey