EdVestors’ Zeroing in on Math initiative sets out to dramatically increase student achievement in middle grades (4-8) math across Boston as a strategy for ensuring more students are prepared for rigorous high school academics and success in college and career. The initiative first launched in 2015 and represents the next generation of EdVestors’ school improvement work at scale. As of the 2014 MCAS, only seven of the 50 public schools in Boston serving eighth graders, district and charter, have reached the benchmark of educating at least 75% of their students to eighth grade proficiency. Our goal is to increase this number given that proficiency in eighth grade math provides access to rigorous high school courses, predicts college completion and increases access to high-demand jobs.
To improve math outcomes for Boston students, we are:
- Working with 80 teachers at 14 schools on specific math interventions—thereby reaching more than 3,000 students with improved math practices in its second year.
- Engaging 16 Boston math teachers as Zeroing in on Math Teaching Fellows, who are working together to identify problems in math achievement and develop teacher-led solutions with potential for scale.
- Partnering with the Boston Public Schools Excellence for All initiative to support teachers & school leaders as they continue to grow as professionals and as they develop young mathematicians in Boston
- Partnering with TeachPlus to offer three collaborative courses for teachers, taught by teachers, to strengthen their instructional approach and help students develop a robust understanding of critical middle grades math concepts.
- Gathering input from and engaging a broad community of teachers, school leaders, parents, professionals, and citizens who are passionate about math achievement. Share your ideas here.
“EdVestors’ intervention through tactical support, knowledge and expertise to our team has been crucial and is affecting the way we are teaching mathematics at our school. To have a strategic thought partner who is coming into our building and sharing ideas is important. We are in Year 1 and we are already seeing dramatic effects.”
Jordan Weymer, Principal, McKay K-8 School
As part of the Zeroing in on Math initiative, EdVestors seeks to partner with charter and district schools that are committed to improving the math achievement of their students in the middle grades, defined here as grades 4-8. Current opportunities are open for school partners interested in participating in the Zeroing in on Math Intervention Cohort, made up of educators testing blended learning interventions with students. Cohort participants receive funding from EdVestors as well as opportunities to share their learning within the group with the goal of developing effective strategies for boosting student math achievement across multiple schools.
Additional opportunities for schools to participate in Zeroing in on Math will be announced as they become available.
For the Intervention Cohort, we are looking to widen the learning community of schools to partner with EdVestors to help better understand how technology-based or other interventions can be part of the solution for closing knowledge and skill gaps in math in grades 4-8.
Total investments per school will range in size from $5,000 to $12,000 depending on the scope of the project and number of students served. Schools interested in using the lessons learned from the 2015-2016 cohort and exploring and implementing intervention strategies, with the goal to identify other successful practices that can then be shared more broadly with other schools, are encouraged to apply.
All public schools in Boston enrolling eighth grade students, or in the process of growing to include eighth grade, are welcome to apply. This includes BPS district and charter schools of all types (Commonwealth charters, Horace Mann in-district, pilot, Innovation and traditional district schools). Within these schools, any grade(s) from four through eight can be the target of the school’s gap-closing plan.
The deadline to apply to participate in the Zeroing in on Math Intervention Cohort for the 2016-17 school year was May 11, 2016. Please check back in spring of 2017 for the next opportunity to apply.