Achieving proficiency in mathematics appears to be a particular area of challenge for students in the United States. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) recently released results for 2003 testing, and revealed that eighth graders in the United States rank 15th among 46 participating countries (Snell, 2005). Although these results are a significant improvement from the 1995 performance, the United States students still rank near the bottom when compared to other students from industrialized nations. Research in the area of mathematics achievement has examined a number of explanations as to why some students will test proficient and many will not (e.g., Hyde, Fennema, & Lamon, 1990; Mason, & Scrivani, 2004; Mevarech, Silber, & Fine, 1991; Rangappa, 1993, 1994). Using data extracted from the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS, 2004), the present study investigated the impact of student reading ability, student math self-efficacy, teacher expectations, and the use of computers in the teaching of mathematics in predicting student math achievement. Findings reveal that 56% of the variance in student math achievement can be explained by students’ reading ability. The results of the final regression model also revealed that higher levels of math-self-efficacy and higher levels of teachers’ expectations were associated with higher math achievement scores. However, a negative association between computer-assisted instruction and student math achievement scores was found.
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