The Effects of the Elevate Math Summer Program on Math Achievement and Algebra Readiness
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Elevate Math is a math support program designed by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation as part of its ongoing effort to help students succeed in middle school math and to master important math and science skills that are needed to succeed in college and the labor market. Though the program is a year-round effort, its core is an intensive 75-hour (19 days over four weeks) summer preparatory course. In summer 2014 the foundation, Regional Educational Laboratory West, and several Silicon Valley school districts collaborated on a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of the Elevate Math summer program on math achievement, algebra readiness, and attitudes toward math. Students were randomly assigned to a treatment group that received access to the program at the beginning of the summer or to a control group that received access to the program later in the summer. End-of-program test scores and survey responses of students in the treatment group were compared with those of students in the control group prior to their exposure to the program.
The evaluation found that the Elevate Math summer program significantly improved math achievement and algebra readiness. Compared with students in the control group, students in the treatment group scored significantly higher (4 points, or 0.7 standard deviation) on a test of algebra readiness. Students in the treatment group were also significantly more likely (29 percent versus 12 percent) to reach achievement thresholds associated with success in algebra I. Despite significant positive effects from the program, most students were still not ready for algebra I content. On average, students in the treatment group still answered most items incorrectly on a test of algebra readiness (scoring 21 out of a possible 45). And only 29 percent of students in the treatment group reached an achievement level that would predict a better than 50 percent chance of succeeding in an algebra I course.