Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony J. Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato,

Third Advisor

James R. Campbell


Mathematics is a collection of mental practices, attitudes and tools that humans have developed in our quest to understand the world (Singh & Brownwell, 2019). Educators have identified math and reading as the two core subjects that are essential for academic success. Achievement in math is considered to be the one of the most important predictors of economic success (Chazan, 2008). Educational leaders have become increasingly interested in finding the ideal placement for students to gain access to benchmark math curriculum that opens doors for advancement. In a competitive global market, educational and political leaders in the United States have continuously analyzed curriculum and sequencing practices in order to leverage their citizens in a position to be at the leading edge of achievement and contribution to the world’s economy. Acceleration is one way, which schools have attempted to gain an advantage (Spielhagen, 2006). Accelerating curriculum often involves compacting concepts and moving through curriculum at a faster pace than previous practices. Acceleration combines elements of tracking (and detracking) and equity into the conversation. Systems thinking is an essential component for school district leaders as they consider the critical initiative of detracking and accelerating all students that must be well planned with a reasonable timeline (Burris, 2008). In an effort to identify effective methods for preparing math students to be future-ready, this study measures the impact of acceleration in 8th grade Algebra 1. Quantitative methods are used to study the impact of acceleration on student test scores and the number of advanced math courses students enroll in prior to graduating from high school. The study also investigates the impact of acceleration on the diversity that exists in school’s advanced math courses. Finally, the study will determine how the COVID 19 pandemic altered progress for schools that accelerate all students compared to schools that do not accelerate.