Thirty percent. Statewide, roughly 30 percent of students are meeting expectations in mathematics. That means that the vast majority of students are not proficient in math in Rhode Island.
So now what?
The data is daunting, but if we get back to basics and focus on the things that we know are most impactful for teaching and learning, we can move the needle.
We need high-quality math curriculum, supported with meaningful professional learning, and a continuous improvement mindset in instruction as we learn from one another and find what works in getting kids excited about and engaged in mathematics.
A big part of that is building relevance into the classroom, and helping students to understand how what they’re learning in class connects to career pathways, college readiness, and lifelong success. If we can’t answer that question from the get-go, students will lose interest. If we can’t answer that question, then we need to rethink our approach.
As math educators, you know more than anyone how important math is to future student success. As you continue your work and drive the effort to improve outcomes, just know that I’m in your corner. I want to be helpful to your community of practice as you not only improve math teaching and learning, but also as you change mindsets of students, families, and even fellow educators when it comes to the importance of math.
I know that if we are intentional in our approach, and if we remain focused on instruction, 30 percent proficiency will be a thing of the past for Rhode Island students. It’s a complex equation, but if we work together, it’s one that we can solve.