The school collected pre- and post-data during the 2011-2012 school year using the Equals Mathematics assessment. This study was proactively initiated by a team of administrators and educators within the school dedicated to ensuring each of their students have an opportunity to excel in math. It was determined early on in implementation that the assessment within Equals would be handled by an identified assessment team member so students were tested by adults other than their math teachers. “It was our goal to ensure we could really determine how our students would achieve using Equals Mathematics and I knew a critical piece to evaluating our goals would be the assessment. I really emphasized the importance of objectivity in student results. Having an assessment team just made me more confident in what we would discover.” said Shawn Fornek, Principal, Developmental Learning Program.
The results were outstanding. The data indicates that every one of the 72 students that completed the year using the Equals Mathematics program demonstrated progress in their math skills. Taken together the mean difference for all students was 28.04. This represented an average gain in math skills of 38%.
“We are thrilled to see progress like this for students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities. The strength of Equals is providing quality math instruction and methodologies with appropriate access for individual students,” stated Karen Ross-Brown, Research and Development Writer for AbleNet and co-developer of Equals. “Clearly, the teachers understood this very well and implemented Equals with thoughtfulness and dedication.”
Shawn Fornek, Principal, Developmental Learning Program, went on to say she was amazed by the math the students were doing – even the students with the most significant disabilities. She said “What a difference in math instruction and strategies.”
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