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Making the Grade: Solving the US Math Problem

Many states have laws aimed at improving literacy, but few are putting the same weight behind targeting math instruction. A recent study by NWEA found that middle and elementary school students’ math progress stagnated last year. On average, students need the equivalent of an additional four and half months of instruction in math to level the playing field from before the pandemic.


The downward trends began years before the health crisis, raising questions about a decade of disappointing results for math students and the economic and civic repercussions to come. Unfortunately, “I’m not good at math,” or, “I’m not a math person,” are common refrains that echo through generations of Americans who have traversed a public school system in the U.S.


The downsides of not addressing the problem of math education in the U.S. are steep. Numerate people are needed for the military, for careers in science and medicine, for careers outside science, to close wage gaps among demographic groups and to ensure that the U.S. and all citizens can grow and succeed and stay competitive.


Which states are leading the charge to solve the math crisis? How did the coronavirus wreak havoc on math? And how can the United States close the performance gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged student groups?


Join the Collaborative for Student Success and The Hill as we convene lawmakers, math advocates, and educators to discuss U.S. math education and why it’s no longer acceptable to laugh off being “bad at math.”
Weigh in on national math efforts
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More on Math

Accelerating Math Learning in Judson Independent School District, Texas

All Kids Are Math Kids: Redefining Our Approach to Math Education

Every Kid is a Math Kid: One Leader’s Mission to Make Math Accessible for All Students

About the Collaborative for Student Success

At our core, we believe leaders at all levels have a role to play in ensuring success for K-12 students. From ensuring schools and teachers are equipped with the best materials to spotlighting the innovative and bold ways federal recovery dollars are being used to drive needed changes, the Collaborative for Student Success aims to inform and amplify policies making a difference for students and families.

To recover from the most disruptive event in the history of American public schools, states and districts are leveraging unprecedented resources to make sure classrooms are safe for learning, providing students and teachers with the high-quality instructional materials they deserve, and are rethinking how best to measure learning so supports are targeted where they’re needed most. 

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