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ERIC Number: EJ1014932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
Sorting and Supporting: Why Double-Dose Algebra Led to Better Test Scores but More Course Failures
Nomi, Takako; Allensworth, Elaine M.
American Educational Research Journal, v50 n4 p756-788 Aug 2013
In 2003, Chicago schools required students entering ninth grade with below-average math scores to take two periods of algebra. This led to higher test scores for students with both above- and below-average skills, yet failure rates increased for above-average students. We examine the mechanisms behind these surprising results. Sorting by incoming skills benefitted the test scores of high-skill students partially through higher demands and fewer disruptive peers. But more students failed because their skills were low relative to classroom peers. For below-average students, improvements in pedagogy and more time for learning offset problems associated with low-skill classrooms. In some cases, classrooms were not sorted, but below-average students took an extra support class simultaneously. Test scores also improved in such classes. (Contains 17 notes, 5 tables, and 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Grade 9; High Schools; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A