Empirical Education is excited to publish the 2018 report of a quasi-experimental study of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) commissioned by the Alabama legislature. AMSTI is the Alabama State Department of Education’s initiative to improve math and science teaching statewide; the program, which started over 20 years ago and now operates in over 900 schools across the state, has been validated multiple times by external evaluators, including Empirical’s own 2012 study directed by Chief Scientist Andrew Jaciw. That cluster-randomized trial, which involved 82 schools and ~700 teachers, assessed the efficacy of AMSTI over a three year period and showed an overall positive effect (Newman et al., 2012).
The 2018 study compares classes of fully-trained AMSTI teachers to classes taught by teachers with no AMSTI training within the same schools to determine the impact of the program on achievement for students in grades 3 through 8. The study also explored the impact of AMSTI on important student subgroups. On average, AMSTI training had a positive impact on student achievement in math and science. Interestingly, we found that in science AMSTI had a strong benefit for females, but a negative impact for English language learners. Our report includes recommendations for program improvements and follow-on research.
Empirical Education presented these findings to the Alabama State Department of Education. Results were also shared with the state board of education and the Alabama legislature. Download the 2018 report, as well as the 2012 report below.