A “major portion” was defined as at least one grade-level set of materials for studies of intended curricular programs and a significant piece (more than one unit) of curricular materials and a significant time duration of use (at least a semester) for studies of enacted curricular programs.
Evaluation studies were also identified and distinguished from research studies by requiring evaluation studies to include statements about the effectiveness of the curriculum or suggestions for revisions and improvements.
Effectiveness can be defined in relation to the selected level of aggregation.
A single study can examine whether a curricular program is effective (at some level and in some context), using the standards of scientifically established as effective outlined in this report.
Our framework merged approaches from method-oriented evaluation (Cook and Campbell, 1979; Boruch, 1997) that focus on issues of internal and external validity, attribution of effects, and generalizability, with approaches from theory-driven evaluations that focus on how these approaches interact with practices (Chen, 1990; Weiss, 1997; Rossi et al., 1999).
This permitted us to consider the content issues of particular concern to mathematicians and mathematics educators, the implementation challenges requiring significant changes in practice associated with reform curricula, the role of professional development and teaching capacity, and the need for rigorous and precise measurement and research design.
We use the term “curriculum” or “curricular materials” in this report as follows: A curriculum consists of a set of materials for use at each grade level, a set of teacher guides, and accompanying classroom assessments.
It may include a listing of prescribed or preferred classroom manipulatives or technologies, materials for parents, homework booklets, and so forth.
be fully dedicated to serving the information needs of program decision makers (Campbell, 1969; Cronbach, 1982; Rossi et al., 1999).
In drawing conclusions on the quality of the corpus of evaluations, we demanded a high level of scientific “validity” and “credibility” because of the importance of this report to national considerations of policy.
In many school systems, “curriculum” is used to refer to a set of state or district standards that broadly outline expectations for the mathematical content topics to be covered at each grade level.