ASU Prep partners with department of education to improve math proficiency

Jul 13, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 7:16 am
(Courtesy photo/Charlie Leight,ASU)...
(Courtesy photo/Charlie Leight,ASU)
(Courtesy photo/Charlie Leight,ASU)

PHOENIX — An online K-12 school is partnering with the Arizona Department of Education on a new program that aims to address challenges students are experiencing with math education in the state.

ASU Prep Digital announced the three-year, $9 million partnership in a press release Monday.

The partnership will work to boost the math and digital literacy skills of fifth-to-ninth-grade students with a program called “Math Momentum.”

The courses offered in the program include math for fifth through ninth grades, pre-algebra, algebra and geometry, which can be customized for each school.

ASU Prep Digital as part of the partnership will provide math teachers to schools that have staffing gaps to work virtually with the onsite facilitator, according to the official website.

Schools that have math teachers on staff will be provided with a teacher that will help co-teach and allow time for small group instruction.

Additionally, every student at schools participating in the program will have a learning success coach that will help track progress and set goals.

“This new Math Momentum program will target some of the greatest systemic and student-level challenges that Arizona middle schools face in teaching mathematics,” Amy McGrath, chief operating officer of ASU Prep Digital, said in the release.

“It will blend a high-quality, adaptive math curriculum with innovative approaches in learning recovery and acceleration. We also will leverage the power of relationships, math mindsets and adaptive technology to elevate the state’s math achievement.

The partnership is attempting to boost the AzMERIT passing rate percentage for eighth-grade math overall.

A measuring tool that uses a series of metrics found Arizona students who scored as proficient or highly proficient was only 41% last year, according to the release.

The goal is to boost the passing rate percentage to 69%.

“With year after year of stagnant math proficiency growth, it is time for Arizona to invest in next-generation learning environments and student math literacy,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in the release.

“By succeeding in math, students also build important critical thinking skills. This exciting partnership with ASU Prep Digital will allow students from across Arizona to catch up and thrive.”

The online K-12 school is piloting the program this summer with select school districts around the state, focusing on those communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through an innovative program like this, we’re bringing our proven digital tools into classrooms to better personalize learning opportunities, especially for those students who are returning to school for full-time, in-person learning, this fall,” McGrath said.

Hoffman in the release said partnering with the school on the pilot program made sense because “they have a proven track record of success and the ability to stand up a successful program quickly.”

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ASU Prep partners with department of education to improve math proficiency