Using an HLM Growth Curve Analysis to Determine the Impact of the Milwaukee Mathematics Partnership on Increasing Student Achievement in Mathematics
Author: Cindy M. Walker

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5. Conclusions

It is clear that trying to determine the impact of a reform effort as large and ambitious as the MMP, in terms of increasing student achievement in mathematics, is no easy feat.  However, with the right psychometric tools and analytical procedures, finding such associations becomes more feasible.  Although the results are preliminary because we are still waiting for one more year of student achievement data, the results obtained from the HLM analyses suggest that the work of the MMP is making a difference in schools that more fully engage in MMP related activities and embrace the principles of the MMP.  This is because the results of other analyses conducted for the evaluation of the MMP indicated that that teachers in schools that report a greater focus on increasing student achievement in mathematics tend to: (1) report a higher level of consistency in instructional practices related to mathematics; (2) report that the professional development sessions they attended throughout the year were more applicable to classroom practice; (3) report that the Math Teacher Leader at their school was more helpful, in terms of improving mathematics teaching and learning, and (4) work at schools that have Learning Teams that report working on issues related to mathematics teaching and learning more frequently.  In other words, schools with a greater math focus, which was found to be related to student achievement gains in mathematics in the HLM growth curve analyses undertaken, were found to be more fully embracing the principles of the MMP.

The purpose of this presentation will be to explain the logic behind the modeling that was used in the evaluation of the MMP and to help participants learn how to apply such a modeling framework in their own evaluation efforts.