NSF Supports Strategic Work to Promote Students' Math Proficiency

Amy Brodesky

EDC's new project “Strengthening Mathematics Intervention Classes” is designed to improve mathematics instruction and support for struggling learners in the middle grades. With the support of the National Science Foundation, a team led by PI Amy Brodesky (at left) and co-PI Karen Karp of Johns Hopkins School of Education—and including Jackie Zweig, Emily Fagan, and Linda Hirsch—is conducting a study to examine the current landscape of middle school mathematics intervention classes and will then use the findings to design a professional development program for teachers that focuses on identified needs, helping to strengthen intervention practices for students. 

To date, few studies have examined if mathematics interventions classroom teachers are using practices that research has shown to be effective, such as the use of visual representations. “The timing of this study is critical,” said Brodesky. “Districts face a pressing need to improve instruction for struggling learners, with and without identified disabilities, who are not reaching proficiency.” On the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 67% percent of 8th graders did not reach proficiency and 29% scored at the below basic level.

Last Updated: November 2016