The Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) is primarily a professional development strategy for elementary and middle school teachers and principals, who attend a 2-week training session in the summer, followed by on-site coaching during the school year. The focus of professional development is on hands-on, inquiry-based instruction in math and science. In addition to professional development, teachers are provided with all necessary materials, including teacher and student guides, student assessments, software, manipulatives, and hands-on activities, all organized in “kits” that are rotated among schools.
AMSTI was implemented in a large study in grades 4-8. The report did not make it possible to separate elementary and middle school outcomes, so it is considered in both categories. On measures of math problem solving, students in schools that used AMSTI scored significantly higher than a control group at the student level but not at the school level, with an average effect size of +0.05. This qualifies AMSTI for the ESSA “Promising” category.