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Research assistants from Providence College create new math assessment

Frank Sacco

Oct 25, 2022

New algebra assessment will help researchers measure student progress

Over the past month, research assistants Colin Luca (‘23), Lillian McHugh (‘24), Pedro Jardim (‘25), and Frank Sacco (‘25) of Providence College joined Sprout and S.T.E.M. to build a learning assessment in algebra. This multiple-choice test, based on Rhode Island Core Standards for Mathematics, included over thirty questions with each tying to specific learning expectation.

This test will be used to gauge the progress of students enrolled in the after-school tutoring program hosted by Sprout at The Met School in Providence, Rhode Island and will be administered at the beginning and end of each semester to measure any identifiable improvement in the algebra skills of each student.

The feedback provided by the test will inform both students and tutors of where improvement is most necessary. Since the learning assessment addresses different parts of the state core standards, it is easy for students and tutors to find these areas needing improvement.

Pedro Jardim ('25) and Colin Luca ('23) recently pictured at the Providence College Fall Expo.

Interns at Sprout have made tests to gauge performance in mathematics before, too. Earlier in January 2022, former interns Olivia Traboulssi (‘22) and Daniel Ryan (‘22) of the University of Rhode Island and Anoop Manjal of Brown University (‘23) created an assessment with Sprout based on geometry criteria set forth by the same core standards document.

Both assessments, along with a socioemotional survey developed by Caleb Chiesa (‘22) and Eric Freeman (‘22) of Connecticut College in 2021, will be used throughout the coming semesters to help identify learning deficits and address the academic needs of students.

The goal of Sprout is to faciliate student growth, to measure the efficacy of academic interventions, and to give students the tools necessary to succeed. When speaking with government and school officials, the most recurrent questions regarding the program have focused on whether students are experiencing improvements in regards to their academic performance and socioemotional well-being.

Ultimately, these learning assessments and socioemotional survey will enable Sprout to more reliably measure student progress, and in doing this, the organization hopes to improve student outcomes and create a model for other public high schools and community-based organizations.

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