Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Educational Policy and Leadership
The purpose of this study was to extend the research on textbook effectiveness to a situated investigation of a single large urban school district in which middle schools were given a choice in selecting from three textbooks for mathematics instruction: a reform textbook, a commercially produced textbook developed in response to mathematics standards, and a traditional textbook. Its genesis is rooted in the efforts in the mathematics education community to investigate the interaction of teachers and mathematics curriculum materials, but in light of the shift to an accountability policy climate in public education. In particular, this study sought to determine whether the type of textbook selected by a school, moderated by the human capital of the teachers teaching mathematics, and the interaction of those variables was associated with increased student mathematics achievement on the mathematics portion of the eighth grade statewide standardized test. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to investigate models relating to textbook selection, components of teacher human capital, and their interaction. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the interaction of textbook selection and components of human capital were not found to be significantly associated with student achievement. However, the selection of a reform mathematics textbook (CMP) over other more traditional texts was associated with student achievement, but accounted for very little of the variance in student test scores. To further explicate the interaction of textbook selection with school factors, logistic regression was used to investigate the association between school factors and the selection of a reform textbook. The demographics of the school (i.e. race, SES, ELL) were not associated with the school selecting a reform mathematics textbook. However, one component of teacher human capital, expertise (a component constructed from data about teacher certification, mathematics specialization, and participation in math focused professional development) was associated with the selection of a reform textbook. This study suggests there is a connection between teacher human capital, the use of reform texts and student achievement; however further investigation is needed to understand the mechanisms at work.