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Launch Years: Redefining College Prep Math in High School

September 2018–August 2021

The Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin is leading this project to create a new paradigm for college and career readiness in mathematics with the goal of reducing equity gaps and preparing students for success in postsecondary education and a range of occupations. The Dana Center is known for advancing the idea that students should be able to study the math topics that are aligned with their college and career goals. Building on its work to create diverse math pathways in college, the Dana Center is working to extend multiple math pathways from high school into college through the creation of new transition math courses and alternatives to the high school algebra pathway. The project is also mobilizing a wide range of constituencies to build consensus and advance the new vision for math. Initial plans are to implement redesigned transition math courses for students deemed not ready for college-level math in at least three states by the end of the three-year project and put structural and policy conditions in place to support implementation and ensure sustainability. In addition, Algebra II equivalent pathways in areas such as Statistics, Quantitative Reasoning, and Data Science will be developed to allow students to study the math most appropriate for their future college and career plans.

CCRC will help evaluate the project to inform continuous improvement and promote structures, policies, and practices that yield equitable outcomes for students. CCRC will also produce communication briefs to inform the field about the ways the new paradigm for college readiness in mathematics can be introduced, supported, and sustained at scale.

This project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Project Lead

Elisabeth A. Barnett