Algebra Screening and Progress Monitoring

From 2011-2015, the Algebra Screening and Progress Monitoring (ASPM) project worked with 39 teachers 5,269 students in 13 buildings in four states to:

  • Revise and refine three procedural measures
  • Develop and test three conceptual measures
  • Examined the technical adequacy of six different types of algebra measures

We invite you to explore the ASPM website to learn more about the ASPM project and how these measures might be useful in your classroom, building, or district.

ASPM was developed by researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Missouri. The research reported here was supported by the Institute for Education Sciences through Grant #R324A110262 to Iowa State University. The opinion expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the view of the Institute of the U.S. Department of Education. © 2017, All Rights Reserved.

About the Project


Proficiency in algebra is a critical building block for post-secondary education and higher wage jobs, as well as the nation’s competitiveness in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Algebra competence is a particular concern for secondary students with disabilities, who are participating in general education mathematics courses in growing numbers and facing curriculum standards and graduation requirements that demand mastery of algebra. Empirical evidence suggests positive effects on elementary students’ achievement in reading and mathematics when teachers use frequent progress monitoring to inform instruction. Unfortunately, comparable monitoring measures for advanced mathematics topics are not widely available.

The purpose of ASPM is to develop a series of algebra screening and progress monitoring measures intended to enable teachers of students with disabilities to better monitor students’ learning in algebra. The research team will develop and pilot test an online progress monitoring assessment system that monitors progress in algebra, primarily for students with learning disabilities.

Project activities

The screening and progress monitoring measures will be developed and pilot tested with four cohorts of general and special education teachers and more than 2,500 students learning algebra in high school settings. The research team will evaluate six types of algebra measures for screening and progress monitoring of students with or at risk for disabilities. First, the team will develop two new algebra measures targeting conceptual understanding and problem solving. Second, the researchers will evaluate these measures, along with four previously developed algebra measures, to assess their technical adequacy (reliability and validity) as screening instruments and as progress monitoring tools. The researchers will then finalize all of the measures and prepare them for dissemination.


The products of this project include a fully developed algebra screening and progress monitoring assessment system, evidence of technical adequacy of the measures, and published papers and presentations.

View the IES structured abstract

Need More Information?

ASPM project team