SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Math Achievement Club by Rodel (MAC-Ro) has consistently shown significant gains in math achievement for the students in high-poverty schools. However, one question remained: Would students from wealthier schools, who don’t face the same challenges, see the same benefit? Through a special partnership with Verrado, a planned community in Buckeye, Ariz., the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona was able to test the broader impact of their math initiative and find that students in these schools can also make incredible achievement gains.
Last fall, Verrado, a DMB community, created a partnership between Rodel and school district superintendents and principals of five West Valley schools that enabled the introduction of the math program to the community.
Four of the five middle-income schools supported by the Verrado partnership had gains in their math achievement scores. After just one year in the program, second-graders at Verrado Elementary School in the Litchfield Elementary School District saw an incredible 25 percentile point gain in their Terra Nova math achievement scores to reach the 77th percentile. Only 20 percent of Verrado Elementary students qualify for free or reduced price-lunch compared with typical MAC-Ro schools where on average 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced price-lunch.
Other schools making gains include Liberty Elementary and Rainbow Valley Elementary in the Liberty Elementary School District with a 15 percent gain among third-graders meeting or exceeding standards on AIMS. Scott Libby Elementary second-graders also had gains of 5 percentile points on the Terra Nova math test to reach the 63rd percentile.
In the new school year, the Verrado partnership will allow the program to expand to an additional grade level and serve students at six schools. These students will join more than 24,000 students at 110 schools in 42 districts across six counties participating in MAC-Ro.
The Math Achievement Club by Rodel (MAC-Ro) is an initiative of the Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona with a proven track record of improving the math achievement of elementary school students by using a combination of increased time on task, parent involvement, strategies for teaching the Arizona Academic Standards, systematic review and monthly “surprises” as motivation for students to do well.
A 2006 study by researchers at the University of Arizona (UofA) showed that schools participating in MAC-Ro had more than double the increase in students meeting or exceeding standards on the AIMS test compared to similar schools. More specifically, the 69 schools in MAC-Ro during the 2004-05 school year gained an average of 16.8 points over the previous year. During the same period, a control group of schools with similar demographics only gained 5.9 points while the statewide average rose 12 points.
The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona’s vision is for Arizona to have one of the best pre-kindergarten through 12 educational systems in the country by 2020. For more information on the Foundation’s mission and initiatives, contact Rodel at 480-367-2920.