A well-timed and executed intervention with an under-performing math student can produce very substantive and positive results. That is the finding in a new study co-authored by Harvard Kennedy School assistant professor Joshua Goodman. “Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra” is published as part of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Paper series.
The study examines the impact of so-called “double-dose algebra,” in which low-skilled 9th-graders in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are assigned to an algebra course that doubled instructional time, altered peer composition and emphasized problem serving skills.
“CPS hoped that this doubling of instructional time, along with an increased emphasis on problem solving skills and increased instructional support for teachers, would improve algebra passing rates in the short-run and high school graduation rates in the long-run,” the authors write.