# Effectiveness of the Algebra I AC Math Class and the Need for Future Math Lab Classes in Rutherford County High Schools

#### Abstract

The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the relationship between the Explore test scores and Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) scores of all students in Rutherford County in order to determine if Explore test scores are an appropriate method for placing incoming freshmen into the math lab class; (b) to compare gains on the Algebra I End of Course (EOC) test of students enrolled in the math lab class to students not enrolled in the math lab class in one selected high school; and, (c) to compare gains on the Algebra II EOC test of students who were originally enrolled in the math lab class to students not enrolled in the math lab class in one selected high school in order to determine the need for support in future math classes. This study utilized both correlational and quasi-experimental research designs. Archival data were collected and examined for the school years 2011–2012 through 2014–2015. For Phase I (correlational design of this study), a sample included all freshmen who were enrolled in Rutherford County during the 2012–2013 school year who had both Explore and TCAP data on record and available for use (n = 2848). For Phase II (quasi-experimental design of this study), the sample included all students enrolled at one Rutherford County high school during the years of 2012–2015. Two groups from this one selected high school were compared. Group I included freshmen who were enrolled in the math lab class during the 2012–2013 school year (treatment group), and Group II included freshmen who were not enrolled in the math lab class during the 2012–2013 school year (control group). Major findings include a strong positive correlation (r s = .65) between the Explore math scores and the TCAP math scores of all Rutherford County students. This means that as Explore test scores increase, TCAP test scores also increase. There was a significant difference (p = .002) between the gains of students enrolled in the math lab class (Group I) and the gains of students not enrolled in the math lab class (Group II) [U = 6,474.50, p = .002, r = -.71]. Students who were enrolled in the math lab class had significantly higher gains than students who were not enrolled in the math lab class. Finally, upperclassmen who were enrolled in the math lab class had significantly lower gains than upperclassmen who were not enrolled in the math lab class (p = .027). There was a significant difference between the two sets of students [U = 10,701.50, p = .027, r = .11]. Some recommendations for future research include testing larger, more diverse samples over longer periods of time, including teacher specific data, testing other screeners, and testing a math lab class for Geometry and Algebra II.

#### Subject Area

Mathematics education|Education|Secondary education

#### Recommended Citation

Kelly Short Newberry,
"Effectiveness of the Algebra I AC Math Class and the Need for Future Math Lab Classes in Rutherford County High Schools"
(2016).
*ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.*
Paper AAI10158675.

https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10158675