Evaluation Evidence

What do evaluation studies say about the effectiveness of the Core-Plus Mathematics Project curriculum?

There is a large and growing body of rigorous research documenting the effectiveness of the CPMP curriculum. Based on evidence from nationally standardized tests (ITED, SAT, ACT, NAEP), course-specific tests, researcher-developed tests, interviews, and surveys, the CPMP curriculum has been shown to enhance students' mathematical achievement and attitudes toward mathematics.

Quantitative Thinking
CPMP students outperform comparison students on the mathematics subtest of the nationally standardized Iowa Tests of Educational Development ITED-Q.

Conceptual Understanding
CPMP students demonstrate better conceptual understanding than students in more traditional curricula.

Problem Solving Ability
CPMP students demonstrate better problem solving ability than comparison students.

Applications and Mathematical Modeling
CPMP students are better able to apply mathematics than students in more traditional curricula.

Algebraic Reasoning
CPMP students perform better on tasks of algebraic reasoning than comparison students.

Algebraic Procedural Skills
This is the one area for which field-test research indicates mixed results. On some evaluation tests, CPMP students do as well or better, on others they do less well than comparison students. As part of the curriculum development process, revisions have been made to strengthen students' algebraic skills. The final and published version of the Core-Plus Mathematics curriculum maintains the well-documented effectiveness of the curriculum, while strengthening students' algebraic procedural skills.

Important Mathematics in Addition to Algebra and Geometry
CPMP students perform well on mathematical tasks involving probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
CPMP students scored well above national norms on a test comprised of released items from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Student Perceptions and Attitudes
CPMP students have better attitudes and perceptions about mathematics than students in more traditional curricula.

College Entrance Exams - SAT and ACT
CPMP students do as well as, or better than, comparable students in more traditional curricula on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.

Performance on College Math Placement Tests
On a mathematics department placement test used at a major midwestern university, CPMP students performed as well as students in traditional precalculus courses on basic algebra and advanced algebra subtests, and they performed better on the calculus readiness subtest.

Performance in College Mathematics Courses
CPMP students completing the four-year curriculum perform as well as, or better than, comparable students in a more traditional curriculum in college mathematics courses at the calculus level and above.

The above results are further elaborated in

  • "The Core-Plus Mathematics Project: Perspectives and student achievement," appearing in S. Senk and D. Thompson (Eds.), Standards-Oriented School Mathematics Curricula: What Are They? What Do Students Learn? pp. 311-344. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.,

and in two research papers,

For more information on field-test evaluation evidence, see the Evaluation page and the annotated list of Research Publications. For reports from schools using the published Core-Plus Mathematics program, see School Reports.

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