Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Peter J. Cistone

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dawn E. Addy

Third Advisor's Name

Maria L. Fernandez

Fourth Advisor's Name

Delia C. Garcia

Fifth Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Date of Defense



This study examined standards-based mathematics reform initiatives to determine if they would improve student achievement on the part of low-performing students. New curricula, the Carnegie Learning Cognitive Tutor®, were provided for algebra and geometry students. The new instructional strategy relied on both the teacher-led instruction and the use of computers to differentiate instruction for individual students. Mathematics teachers received ongoing professional development to help them implement the new curricula. In addition, teachers were provided with ongoing support to assist them with the transformation of the learning environments for students using standards-based practices. This quasi-experimental (nonrandomized) study involved teachers in two matched urban high schools.

Analyses (ANCOVAs) revealed that the experimental group with an appropriately implemented program had significantly higher learning gains than the comparison group as determined by the students' 2007 mathematics Developmental Scale Score (DSS). In addition, the experimental group's adjusted mean for the second interim mathematics assessment was significantly higher than the comparison group's mean. The findings support the idea that if the traditional curriculum is replaced with standards-based curriculum, and the curriculum is implemented as intended, low-performing students may make significant learning gains.

With respect to the teaching practices as observed with the Classroom Observation Protocol (COP), t-tests were conducted on four constructs. The results for both the algebra and geometry teachers on the constructs were not significant. The COP indicated that teachers in both the experimental and comparison groups used traditional instruction strategies in their classrooms. The analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) on the use of technology revealed no significant main effects for computer use.





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