Zeroing in on Math

A staggering 2/3 of Boston Public School eighth graders are not proficient in math. This is a quiet crisis in Boston schools as math proficiency indicates student readiness for high school academics, forms the foundation of skills for STEM study, and predicts post-secondary success.

EdVestors set out to dramatically improve student achievement in middle grades (3-8) math by launching Zeroing in on Math (ZioM), a multi-year, city-wide initiative in 2015.

We’re already seeing powerful results. Over the last three years, students have averaged gains of 1.2 to 1.4 years of growth compared to expected growth of .9 years, based on the Star Math assessment. Even more promising are the results from teachers in the Deeper Learning Cohort. Students of these teachers have averaged 1.3 to 1.6 years of growth.

To improve math outcomes for Boston students, we are:

  1. Deepening effective math instruction by strengthening teacher math knowledge and pedagogy through our Deeper Learning Cohort. Currently, teachers in grade-level teams in grades 3-5 from seven schools participate. Our Deeper Learning Cohort is an outgrowth of our collaborative partnership with Boston Public Schools’ Excellence for All initiative, which aims to expand access to rigorous curriculum and enrichment experiences for all students, especially Black and Latinx students;
  2. Improving student math proficiency by closing knowledge and skill gaps, through our Blended Learning Cohort, which provides approximately 3,700 students and 160 teachers in 17 schools access to math technology tools;
  3. Building a citywide community of math advocates, by engaging 17 Boston math teachers as Zeroing in on Math Fellows, who work together to identify problems in math achievement and develop teacher-led solutions with potential for scale, as well as our Math Advisory Board, who provide cross-sector vision and guidance to inform the work of Zeroing in on Math.

“Zeroing in on Math has been a game changer for our school. I feel more supported; I’m learning as a math leader. My teachers are learning, and they are doing deeper, more exciting and impactful work with students. The culture of students around math at this school is filled with excitement.”

—Karen McCarthy, Principal, Guild Elementary

Grant Seekers


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 3-8.

Opportunites for schools to participate in Zeroing in on Math will be announced as they become available.

Blended Learning Cohort

Participants in the Blended Learning Cohort partner with EdVestors to help better understand how technology-based interventions can be part of the solution for closing knowledge and skill gaps in math in grades 3-8.

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. Total investments per school range in size from $5,000 to $12,000 depending on the scope of the project and number of students served.

Applications are currently closed.


All public schools in Boston enrolling eighth grade students, or in the process of growing to include eighth grade, are welcome to apply when applications are open. 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 three through eight can be the target of the school’s gap-closing plan.