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Many elementary school students are below grade level in math and need one-on-one attention.

Proficiency rates are low:

In 2017, only 44% of economically disadvantaged students (EDS) in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) were performing at their grade level in 3rd – 8th grade math (Source: NC DPI). A poor foundation in math can have negative consequences for a student’s early self-identity as a successful student, completion of North Carolina high school graduation requirements, and independent adulthood.

Math becomes a barrier to high school graduation:

Without a strong foundation in math, success in higher levels of learning is difficult. Across the district, math proficiency rates decline in Grades 6 – 8 and do not recover in high school (Source: NC Department of Public Instruction).

Recovery for those who fail Algebra is extremely difficult. In a study that included 24 school districts by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd, of all of the students who failed Algebra I on the first take, only 20% passed on the second try.   Of those who took it a third time, only 9% passed.

Foundational skills need repair:

Many students are following rules and procedures without a deep understanding of what they are doing and why.

Place Value:

“Can you show me what the ‘1’ in ‘16’ means?”


8 + 4 = [ ] + 5

Place Value:

A number contains 18 tens, 2 hundreds, and 4 ones. What is that number?

Half of 3rd graders in the study could not explain this.

Constance Kamil, PhD and Early Childhood Education Professor

Only 2% of 6th graders responded with the correct answer.

Carpenter, Franke, & Levi, 2003

50% of 5,000 middle school students could answer this task correctly.

Greyson Wheatley, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education

Students benefit from targeted intervention:

With hands-on experience that targets specific conceptual gaps, struggling students can catch up to grade level and progress with their class to higher levels of learning.  (Results)

  • “The kind of mathematical thinking that can provide a foundation for learning algebra must be developed over an extended period of time, starting in the early elementary grades.” Carpenter, Franke, Levi – Integrating Arithmetic and Algebra in Elementary School
  • “If you have a problem with Algebra in your high schools, you have to fix it in K-4.” Kathy Richardson, a leading math educator in the U.S. and author of Developing Number Concepts
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In 2017, 56% of economically disadvantaged students (EDS) in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) scored below grade level in 3rd – 8th grade math.