Blog: Education by the Numbers

Less math is more: data supports Saxon Math curriculum

A math curriculum that reduces how much new content elementary students are exposed to each day was found to be effective, according to an analysis by Mathematica Policy Research. Mathematica looked at two studies that focused on Saxon Math, a curriculum designed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.The studies covered more than 8000 students in 11 states and found that students who used the curriculum, on average, did 3 percentile points better on math assessments than those who did not use the curriculum.

In addition to introducing new concepts gradually, the Saxon curriculum allows students to do practice homework in the classroom and constantly review old content. In third grade, the instruction shifts from teacher-directed to independent student-driven instruction. Kids frequently take assessment tests to help teachers identify and help struggling students.