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Exploring Math Education Relations by Analyzing Large Data Sets II CCSS IRT

Weeks, Jonathan P.; Baron, Patricia A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Algebra, Mathematics, Smarter Balanced, Mathematics Problem Solving, Item Response Theory (IRT), Regression Analysis, Elementary Secondary Education, Residual Analysis, Student Performance


The current project, Exploring Math Education Relations by Analyzing Large Data Sets (EMERALDS) II, is an attempt to identify specific Common Core State Standards procedural, conceptual, and problem-solving competencies in earlier grades that best predict success in algebraic areas in later grades. The data for this study include two cohorts of California students with Smarter Balance (SB) mathematics scores. SB items were clustered based on a priori defined prealgebra knowledge domains and algebra content areas. Two approaches were then used to characterize student performance for several of these competencies: item residuals and factor scores. These performance indices were subsequently used in a series of regression models to examine the relationships between prealgebra competencies and later algebra outcomes. The findings from this study have implications for the use of the SB assessment for monitoring students’ readiness for high school algebra and highlight areas that might be particularly important for success in this core mathematics domain. This report also provides direction for future studies.

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