Empirical Education is excited to announce a new study of the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI). The Alabama legislature commissioned the study. 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, operates in over 900 schools across the state. Many external evaluators have validated AMSTI.
Researchers here at Empirical Education, directed by Chief Scientist Andrew Jaciw, published a study in 2012. The cluster-randomized trial (CRCT) involved 82 schools and ~700 teachers. It assessed the efficacy of AMSTI over a three year period and showed an overall positive effect (Newman et al., 2012).
The new study that we are embarking on will use a quasi-experimental matched comparison group design. We will take advantage of existing data available from the Alabama State Department of Education and the AMSTI program. By comparing compare schools using AMSTI to matched schools not using AMSTI, we can determine the impact of the program on math and science achievement for students in grades 3 through 8. Our report will also include differential impacts of the program on important student subgroups. Using Improvement Science principles, we will examine school climates for a greater or reduced program impact.
At the conclusion of the study, we will distribute the report to select committees of the Alabama state legislature, the Governor and the Alabama State Board of Education, and the Alabama State Department of Education. Empirical Education researchers will travel to Montgomery, AL to present the study findings and recommendations for improvement to the Alabama legislature.