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Mathematics and Reading in Mathematics or If

you cant read the problem, its hard to get the

answer.

- Research and Evaluation
- August 2006

Reading Looks Far Better Than Mathematics on the

TAKS

- Looking at TAKS, one might think the district

isnt doing very well in math but is doing much

better in reading - Across grades, 72 of students pass reading while

59 pass math - 13 of 18 Unacceptable secondary schools are so

because of math (4 also have reading as a problem

and 1 is reading only) - 25 of 29 schools missed AYP because of math (9

missed because of reading as well and 4 schools

missed reading only)

But, It Aint So

- When ITBS results are examined, we see that the

district does far better in math than in reading - Mathematics results are dramatically higher than

reading comprehension in 8 out of 9 grades - In every subgroup, students do significantly

better in math than reading comprehension

Percent At or Above 40th Percentile Reading and

Math ITBS 2005

OK, Why Does TAKS Math Look So Bad?

- TAKS math performance looks much worse than TAKS

reading performance for two reasons - The TAKS math tests are far more difficult than

TAKS reading tests, and - The TAKS math tests have such a large reading

component that poor student reading skills pull

down math scores - (Note This does not say that reading is the only

problem with TAKS math)

How Do We Know TAKS Math is a Harder Test?

- When the reading Lexiles of reading items and

math items are compared, math items are at a much

higher reading level - When TAKS reading and math passing values are

compared with ITBS percentiles, passing TAKS math

is much harder at all but one grade

Reading Lexiles of TAKS Math and Reading Test

Items

- A Lexile is a measure of reading level. The

higher the Lexile, the harder the reading

passage. - Lexiles of 2006 released 9th grade TAKS items in

mathematics and reading were examined for reading

level

Lexile Results

- The median Lexile for 9th grade TAKS math items

was 985, about a 6th or 7th grade reading level. - The median Lexile for 9th grade TAKS reading

items was 580, about a 3rd grade reading level.

Lexile Results

- 23 of 9th grade math items had reading levels

above the 9th grade level - 8 of 9th grade math items had reading levels

above the 12th grade level - Only 6 of 9th grade reading items had reading

levels above the 9th grade level

Lexile Results

- 85 of the 9th grade reading Lexiles were below

the median Lexile for math - Only 6 of 9th grade math items were below the

reading median Lexile

Here is a 9th grade reading item at the TAKS

reading Lexile median

- Paragraph 42 is mainly about
- A. Matthew and Sundance becoming acquainted
- B. What horses like to eat while in the corral
- C. Fences and their usefulness on ranches
- D. Matthew leaving the corral with the others

Here is a 9th grade math item at the TAKS math

Lexile median

- 38. Brandon has a budget of 58 to spend on

clothes. The shirts he wants to buy are on sale

for 9 each, and the pair of pants he wants costs

21. All prices include tax. Which inequality

could be used to determine s, the maximum number

of shirts Brandon can buy if he also buys the

pair of pants? - F. 21s 9 lt 58
- G. 9s 21 58
- H. 30s lt 58
- J. 9s - 21 58

Here is a 9th grade TAKS math item at a 9th grade

Lexile level.

- 36. Heidi has a main-course choice of a

hamburger, a hot dog, an egg roll, a taco, a fish

sandwich, or a chicken sandwich. She has a

side-order choice of french fries, corn chips,

potato chips, or a salad. Heidis beverage choice

can be a soda, fruit punch, milk, or water. Which

is the best method to determine how many

different combinations Heidi could choose? - F. Add the total number of items in the 3

categories together - G. Multiply the total number of main-course

choices by the total number of side-order choices

and add the product to the total number of

beverage choices - H. Multiply the sum of the total number of

main-course choices and the total number of

side-order choices by the total number of

beverage choices - J. Multiply the total number of items in each

of the 3 categories together

ITBS Evidence

- ITBS evidence shows the relative difficulty of

the TAKS reading and math tests even more clearly - We computed percentile levels where students had

a 50/50 chance of passing reading or math and

percentile levels for reaching commended on

reading or math

ITBS Evidence

- In 7 of 8 grades, passing TAKS math is more

difficult than passing reading by at least 13

percentile points and at 3 of 8 grades by 20

percentile points

ITBS Evidence

- In 6 of 8 grades, reaching commended on math is

more difficult than reaching commended on reading

by at least 10 points and at 3 of 8 grades by 20

points

TAKS Passing by ITBS Percentile

TAKS Commended by ITBS Percentile

So, What Makes the Math Tests Harder?

- You may have guessed it already. The answer, in

part, is - Reading Level

What Type of Reading Is In Math (and Science)

Items?

- These items use a type of reading we will call

expository (some add the term formal) reading - Expository reading differs from general reading

in significant ways and calls for many skills not

found in general reading - We will come back to this idea in our

Recommendations and Next Steps

What Part Does Reading Play in Math Performance?

- Research just completed looked at the

relationship of reading to mathematics. - The 9th grade 2005 TAKS reading and math scores

were studied.

Significant Reading-Related Components of Math

Scores

- Two reading-related components of 9th grade TAKS

math scores stood out - LEP status LEP reading achievement was lower

than non-LEP and it was significantly related to

math achievement

Significant Reading-Related Components of Math

Scores

- Two reading-related components of 9th grade TAKS

math scores stood out - The Classroom Effectiveness Index of a students

reading teacher was significantly related to math

achievement. The higher the CEI in reading, the

higher math achievement.

Significant Reading Components in Math Tests and

Items

- Using 2006 ITBS results, students were divided

into low, average, and high reading achievers and

low, average, and high math achievers and we

graphed the TAKS results - Lets look at the graph of the 9th grade test

results using this approach

Grade 9 TAKS by Reading and Math Achievement

Levels

Grade 9 TAKS by Reading and Math Achievement

Levels

- Looking at the graph we see that, at all three

math levels, increasing reading achievement helps

math achievement - Since most of the districts students are in the

lower reading achievement group, there is great

potential for increasing math by increasing

reading

Significant Reading Components in Math Items

- Items were grouped into 4 categories
- A reading effect at all math levels
- A reading effect for low math achievers
- A reading effect for high math achievers
- Math items with no particular reading effect
- Lets look at one of the graphs

Grade Nine Math Item 43

Grade Nine Math Item 43

- 43. Narongs family bought 3 shirts, 2 pairs of

jeans and 2 pairs of shoes. Each shirt cost 18

and each pair of shoes cost 35. The jeans were

marked down from their original price of 40.

What other information, if any, is needed to find

the total cost of the 7 items before tax? - A. The percent markdown for the shirts
- B. The original price of the jeans
- C. The percent markdown for the jeans
- D. No additional information is needed.

How Many Ninth Grade Items Have Strong Reading

Components?

- An analysis of the items for grade 9 math shows

that - 27 have strong reading components at all levels
- 23 have strong reading components for high math

achievers - 27 have strong reading components for low math

achievers - Thus, better readers achieve at higher levels on

75 of the items on the ninth grade TAKS

How Do Math Items Do Relative to Reading at Some

Other Grades?

- At grade 3, 58 of the items have strong reading

components - At grade 5, 39 of the items have strong reading

components - At grade 8, 80 of the items have strong reading

components

Anecdote

- A principal told us recently that we again did

poorly on the measurement objective at grade 9 in

2006, so we investigated the items - Of the 6 items for the measurement objective, 5

had strong reading components as well as math

components - Clearly, better readers will help the measurement

objective regardless of math ability

Obvious Facts About Math and Reading

- Kihneman corollary 1 If you help students do

better in reading you get an automatic boost on

TAKS math - Kihneman corollary 2 If you stop extra help in

reading when a student just passes TAKS reading,

you leave the student far short of the necessary

reading level to pass math

Think About Corollary 2 For a Moment

- If a student just passes reading, how far short

does that leave him/her of the reading level of

the math test?

..Pass a test with a reading level here?

Will a student reading here.?

What We Know About Reading

- The most effective reading teachers teach
- More higher order skills
- More writing including editing and rewriting
- The best measure of a reading teachers

effectiveness is that teachers CEI

Recommendations

- This information does not imply that we need to

put less of an emphasis on mathematics - NEVER stop extra reading assistance to a student

who has ever failed TAKS reading - Extra help in reading needs to continue beyond

passing TAKS reading until a student is at least

at a score level of 2250 or at the 40th

percentile on the ITBS

Recommendations

- More expository reading in the form of

math-oriented reading passages and questions

needs to be added to reading instruction - Science shows the same relationship to reading as

math in our preliminary work. More expository,

science-oriented reading passages and questions

need to be added to reading instruction

Recommendations

- Even high achieving math students who are below

the high achievement level in reading need extra

reading assistance, preferably in expository

reading. That help will benefit TAKS math

performance

Bottom Line

- Working on math alone to improve math scores,

wont get you where you want to go. Youve got

to work on expository reading and keep working on

it.

Next Steps

- Examine the reading curriculum and add expository

math (and science) reading instruction and

examples at all grades - Build expository math and science reading into

the reading scope and sequence

Next Steps

- Construct staff development modules on expository

reading in math and science for reading, math,

and science teachers (and coaches) - Provide schools with profiles of combined math

and reading levels of their students individually

and by grade

Next Steps

- Assure that reading, math, and science coaches

stress expository reading in math and science and

can demonstrate it - Build expository reading in math and science into

before- and after-school programs and into

tutoring for low achieving readers and see that

it is implemented