We estimate relative achievement effects of the four most commonly adopted elementary-mathematics textbooks in the fall of 2008 and fall of 2009 in California. Our findings indicate that one book, Houghton Mifflin’s California Math, is more effective than the other three, raising student achievement by 0.05-0.08 student-level standard deviations of the grade-3 state standardized math test. We also estimate positive effects of California Math relative to the other textbooks in higher elementary grades.
This paper follows a cohort of initially high-performing Missouri students from grade-3 through grade-9 and examines whether attending a low-achieving school impacts their subsequent standardized exam scores, as well as the grade in which they first take Algebra I. Two key findings emerge. First, attending a low-achieving school does not affect the standardized exam performance of initially high-performing students once school quality (as measured by value-added) is accounted for.