Anticipated Date of Graduation

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Doug Darbro


A strong background in mathematics can set students up for success in future math classes and STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). There has been a push to offer Algebra 1 earlier to prepare students with a strong foundation in mathematics and to allow students to complete Calculus before leaving high school. However, in a district where block scheduling allows all students to complete Calculus in secondary school, does offering Algebra 1 in middle school still improve academic achievement? The main goal of this study is to see how student achievement is affected when implementing a program where advanced students are accelerated to complete Algebra 1 in 8th grade. In other words, how is student achievement impacted before and after the implementation of the Algebra 1 early program for students with similar abilities. Another goal of the study is to analyze the impact an Algebra 1 early program has on student achievement for low socioeconomic students. Two sample t-test and multiple regression analysis techniques were used. This study found that advanced students show no change in achievement with the implementation of an Algebra 1 early program. This means that whether an advanced student completes Algebra 1 in middle school or high school has no impact on achievement. More concerning, grade-level student’s academic performance declines as a result of offering Algebra 1 in middle school. Based on the results of this study, ability grouping in middle school should be avoided.