Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The full study involved a total of 77 schools in 12 districts. One half of the districts were recruited from among those using Prentice Hall’s Connected Mathematics Project, and the other half were recruited from among those using either Prentice Hall’s Mathematics or Glencoe’s Applications and Concepts.
During the study’s first full implementation year (school year 2007-2008), data was collected on the nature of the professional development intervention; the district, school, and classroom contexts of seventh-grade math instruction; and initial evidence of the impact of the intervention on participating teachers and their students. The final year of full study involved a second wave of professional development and data collection on teachers’ professional development experiences and classroom conditions and on teacher and student outcomes in approximately half the districts and schools.
The project tracked three main outcomes — teacher knowledge of rational numbers, teacher instructional practice, and student achievement — through data maintained by the districts, as well as data collected from assessments administrated by the study team. Other data collection efforts included observations of professional development sessions.
The random assignment design makes it possible to compare the outcomes of the treatment group with those of the control group receiving the usual professional development approach and, therefore, to estimate the impact of the enhanced professional development services.