Doctor of Philosophy
Education, Teaching-Learning Processes
Date of Defense
In the United States, there had been a push for Algebra for All in the early 1990’s in an effort to increase performance on international assessments and provide equity for low-income students and students of color. As the number of students in eighth grade Algebra I increased, a small number of students enrolled in seventh grade Algebra I also increased. The purpose of this quantitative study is to identify and evaluate demographic and academic patterns of students placed in this early acceleration at the middle school level looking at the continuation of acceleration, higher achievement, and an increase in the number of students successfully completing calculus by their senior year within a suburban Midwest public school district.
Approximately 4712 students were included in the study. There were 237 students who were enrolled in seventh grade Algebra I, 1634 enrolled in eighth grade Algebra I, and 2841 enrolled in ninth grade Algebra I. During this time the enrollment in seventh grade Algebra I went from 4 students to 123 students. The expected course pathway completion, ACT mathematics score, and EOC levels were examined over a six-year period. Patterns in demographics such as gender, racial groups, socio-economic groups, along with programs and services such as special education and gifted programs were identified and reported. It was found that minority and low socio-economic groups were underreported in the accelerated Algebra I courses, however were able to show higher than average performance, and lower than average expected course pathway completion. Additionally, as the enrollment increased in the seventh grade Algebra I, performance decreased in all groups.
Smith, Jill, "Academic and Demographic Patterns of Students Placed in Early Algebra I Acceleration" (2021). Dissertations. 1100.