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A recent study found that schools participating in the Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s MAC-Ro Math Initiative during the 2011-12 school year achieved higher AIMS pass rates when compared to demographically similar schools across the state. This is encouraging news for MAC-Ro, reinforcing the initiative’s goal of closing the achievement gap as the program moves to align with Arizona’s Common Core State Standards.

“We are proud to see our MAC-Ro schools outperforming their peers on AIMS across all grade levels,” said Jackie Norton, Rodel President & CEO. “This is a positive indicator of the MAC-Ro program’s effectiveness, and the influence that increased attention to developing math skills can have on student achievement and performance.”

Rooted in research, MAC-Ro was developed by experts in mathematics education and seasoned school leaders. Professional development for teachers, instructional leaders and administrators is supported by standards-based materials that engage students in the learning of math. During the 2011-12 school year, more than 2,000 educators and 50,000 first- through sixth-grade students across Arizona participated in MAC-Ro.

The study, conducted by Dr. Robert K. Atkinson from Arizona State University, evaluated the effectiveness of MAC-Ro for third- through sixth-graders by analyzing 2012 AIMS results provided by the Arizona Department of Education. Based on the AIMS scoring system, students who either Meet or Exceed expectations are considered to have passing scores. For the purpose of the study, the percentage of students who passed the mathematics section of AIMS was computed per school at each grade level and used as the indicator of achievement. High-need MAC-Ro schools, defined as those where the free- or reduced-price lunch (FRL) rate is 70 percent or greater, were then compared to the average grade-level pass rate of all Arizona schools with the same FRL rate.

Third-grade results showed the largest difference between the 147 MAC-Ro and 384 high-need non-MAC-Ro schools statewide. At the third-grade level, the average mathematics AIMS pass rate for the MAC-Ro schools was 8 percent higher than comparable non-MAC-Ro schools (63.4 percent for MAC-Ro schools versus 55.4 percent for comparison schools).

At the fourth-grade level, the study compared 130 MAC-Ro schools and 329 non-MAC-Ro schools, resulting in a 5 percent higher pass rate for MAC-Ro schools (57.3 percent for MAC-Ro schools versus 52.0 percent for comparison schools).

At the fifth-grade level, the study compared 101 MAC-Ro and 392 non-MAC-Ro schools, resulting in a 5 percent higher pass rate for MAC-Ro schools (53.5 percent for MAC-Ro schools versus 48.1 percent for comparison schools).

The sixth-grade evaluation compared 34 MAC-Ro schools and 344 non-MAC-Ro schools, resulting in a 5 percent higher pass rate for MAC-Ro schools (51.3 percent for MAC-Ro schools versus 46.7 percent for comparison schools). However, since there were only 34 MAC-Ro schools, the sixth-grade analysis lacked the power needed to detect a statistically significant effect in comparison to the other grade levels.

An executive summary of the evaluation is available at www.rodelaz.org. The full evaluation will be provided upon request.

Click here to download 2011-12 executive summary

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The Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s vision is for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten through grade 12 educational systems in the country by 2020. For more information on the Foundation’s mission and initiatives, contact Rodel at 480-367-2920 or visit www.rodelaz.org.