Are the recent declines in NAEP scores surprising? They are depressing–and shifts of this magnitude, particularly for older students, can be tragic. But so too is the fact that math scores have been flat for a decade, with devastating effects on our highest need students. How do we push harder to get under the hood of this endemic problem?
At the foundation, we are reading a lot right now. For example, I recently found myself deep in How I Wish I'd Taught Maths: Lessons Learned from Research, Conversations with Experts, and 12 years of Mistakes by Craig Barton and it struck a chord. Barton discusses the necessity of setting up classrooms for success, to explore classroom practices through cognitive science and learning science, and working collectively to better define good in our field. I’m still mulling over his arguments, reading his citations and talking to teachers about his ideas. I look forward to discussing these findings with you.
I’m sure of one thing: maintaining the status quo is not an option. How do we build and disseminate a stronger science of mathematics, akin to what we have discovered in literacy, to improve instruction? Can we better understand common student distractors that prevent learning via technology and make materials that support teachers managing the diversity in their classrooms? What is necessary to change narratives about who is, or can be, a math learner?
The foundation looks forward to partnering with many of you in our quest to explore these and other questions and push for solutions. Thank you for being on this journey with us. I hope the holidays bring you some time to celebrate and indulge–and also relax and unwind. If you need other book recommendations, Bill Gates had a few here. I’ll see you in 2023!
My very best,
Director, K-12 Education
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