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On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness: Judging the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations
FIGURE 5-3 The number of comparative studies in each category.
under investigation across time, such as in a longitudinal study of the same students over time. A third category of comparative study involved a comparison to some form of externally normed results, such as populations taking state, national, or international tests or prior research assessment from a published study or studies. We categorized these studies and divided them into NSF, UCSMP, and commercial and labeled them by the categories above (Figure 5-3).
In nearly all studies in the comparative group, the titles of experimental curricula were explicitly identified. The only exception to this was the ARC Implementation Center study (Sconiers et al., 2002), where three NSF-supported elementary curricula were examined, but in the results, their effects were pooled. In contrast, in the majority of the cases, the comparison curriculum is referred to simply as “traditional.” In only 22 cases were comparisons made between two identified curricula. Many others surveyed the array of curricula at comparison schools and reported on the most frequently used, but did not identify a single curriculum. This design strategy is used often because other factors were used in selecting comparison groups, and the additional requirement of a single identified curriculum in