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NASBE publishes “The Urgent Need for Tailored Math Instruction”

May 23, 2022 National Association of State Boards of Education

“The Urgent Need for Tailored Math Instruction,” an article co-authored by New Classrooms’ Joel Rose and Michael Watson, is featured as part of the 2022 edition of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Standards. In this edition of the journal, subject-matter experts share their insights on advancing math and science instruction. New Classrooms contributes thoughts on what’s changed (and what hasn’t) as a result of the pandemic, and addresses the challenges and opportunities this moment in education present. 

The article focuses on the systemic barrier of a grade-level focus to improving math achievement, saying, “the grade-level-or-bust playbook turns a temporary state of academic deficit into a permanent one.” Research from the ACT shows the chance of a student who was “far off track” in eighth-grade math only had a three percent chance of reaching college readiness by the end of high school. 

“The fact that it is so unlikely for students to catch up to grade level once they’re behind is a reflection not of their capability but of a systemic approach that treats all students the same based on their age instead of what they know and do not know. Students would be far more likely to catch up and even get ahead if they could access an instructional program tailored to what they need to learn. Providing students with that opportunity requires a set of pedagogical strategies more in line with the research and a set of federal and state policies that permit schools to adopt them.”

What’s the state policymaker’s role in centering a math instruction approach on the unique needs of each student? This, and more, in the full article