This research focuses on the retention of students’ algebraic understandings 1 year following a 3-year early algebra intervention. Participants included 1,455 Grade 6 students who had taken part in a cluster randomized trial in Grades 3–5. The results show that, as was the case at the end of Grades 3, 4, and 5, treatment students significantly outperformed control students at the end of Grade 6 on a written assessment of algebraic understanding. However, treatment students experienced a significant decline and control students a significant increase in performance relative to their respective performance at the end of Grade 5. An item-by-item analysis performed within condition revealed the areas in which students in the two groups experienced a change in performance.
The research reported here was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education under IES Award R305A140092. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education. This article was accepted under the editorship of Jinfa Cai.
Ana Stephens, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 683 Educational Sciences Building, 1025 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706; email@example.com