Over a year ago, we announced we would deepen our work in math. We’ve spent the time since then figuring out where we can have the most impact in supporting math education. Our work with Networks for School Improvement has shown us the urgency and necessity of providing teachers with high-quality instructional materials—especially in math—that keep their students engaged, professional learning to support their work, and practices that help drive a common vision of excellent instruction across a school system.
Today we’re announcing more details about how we’ll approach our work over the next 10 years. We’re going to invest more in math education to help improve math outcomes for all students, and in particular for Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds, who often lack access to high quality curriculum, experienced teachers, tutoring, and other supports. The math classroom is a place where students learn to be better problem solvers and critical thinkers, setting them up for future success. But in math classrooms today, far too many students feel out of place. They don’t understand how math is relevant in their lives and experience math as something to “get through” rather than explore.
Like you, we’ve also seen the heartbreaking damage the pandemic has done to student learning. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress results underscore the need to support students and teachers in new ways, by building on educators’ professional expertise and providing new technology.
Our vision includes a plan to ensure:
- Students have high-quality, engaging math curriculum that includes real-world problems and engages students’ curiosity, motivation, and sense of belonging;
- Teachers are supported with job-embedded, sustained professional learning; and
- School districts are implementing the practices, protocols, and systems changes most essential for supporting strong math instruction.
We’ll also continue to work alongside our math pathways partners to better align math course sequences between K-12 and higher education in order to create more options for students that are tied to their career interests and aspirations. And we will continue to focus on R&D, helping to translate research on what works into practice that boosts learning. This strategy is centered on the idea that math is consequential for all students. So we’re going to spend the next 10 years working with partners to help transform the math classroom, better equip math teachers, and strengthen support structures that set students up for success in middle school, high school, and beyond.
We are excited about this direction and look forward to learning alongside our partners and the broader field. You can read more from me in my blog post, and check out our video. We'd love to hear your thoughts or questions on our direction and how we might work together to ensure all students have access to a high-quality math education.