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New Classrooms, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Partner To Redesign How Students Master Algebra In High School

April 9, 2018

NEW YORK — New Classrooms, a nonprofit known for redesigning the middle school math experience, is partnering with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to build on the early success of its high school math remediation pilots using the Teach to One: Math learning model. As a result of the $1.07 million grant, New Classrooms will design a new approach to algebra that is able to replace a school’s algebra program for ninth to eleventh grade students.

“When a student isn’t prepared for algebra, a teacher must help to build the missing foundational skills while also teaching regular coursework–a near-impossible challenge in a traditional classroom,” said Joel Rose, co-founder and chief executive of New Classrooms. “By developing a personalized learning approach to algebra, New Classrooms will ensure that students are graduating from high school prepared for college.”

If a student goes into ninth grade off track in math, they have less than a 1 in 5 chance of graduating high school college ready, according to a study by ACT. Currently, two-thirds of students nationwide enter high school off track in math. When students are required to take remedial math courses upon entering college — typically costing several thousand dollars in tuition and not eligible for credit — their likelihood of earning a college degree plummets. Forty percent of students who take remedial coursework never earn their degrees.

Since the 2016-17 school year, four high schools have offered Teach to One: Math for their ninth through eleventh grade students who are one, two or more grade levels behind. New Classrooms works with each school to design a program that may be one year or multiple years to help all students be prepared to take on algebra coursework. On average, participating high school students grew nine points on the Northwest Evaluation Association MAP exam. This is three times the national average for high school students.

“We know that mastering algebra is critical to high school graduation and college access,” said Todd Penner, director of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation’s College Success portfolio. “With our recent grant to New Classrooms to continue developing a high school algebra program, we are investing in the long-term post-secondary success of thousands of students.”

About New Classrooms

Founded in 2011, New Classrooms is a national nonprofit on a mission to personalize education by redesigning how a classroom works – from the use of technology, time, and physical space to the instruction and content that engages each student. The founders of New Classrooms were the leaders of an initiative within NYC Public Schools called School of One, which TIME named as one of the Best Inventions of 2009. New Classrooms’ first learning model, Teach to One: Math, ensures each student is learning the right math lesson, at the right time, and in the right way that best meets their strengths and needs. It is used by thousands of students in schools nationwide. To learn more about New Classrooms, visit www.newclassrooms.org.

About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. Headquartered in Austin, TX with additional offices in New Delhi, India and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood wellness, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1.5 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.