Achieving Proficiency in Algebra

To increase the proportion of students graduating from high school prepared for the rigor of postsecondary programs, we must dramatically increase the number of students who achieve proficiency in Algebra—the “gatekeeper” subject—in their middle school or early high school years. The 8th Grade Math network has identified two strategies that are successful in raising 8th grade math outcomes, both through experiential STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) learning —- STE(A)M Truck and STEM/STEAM Certification.

8th Grade Math Bright Spots

STE(A)M Truck is a fleet of mobile maker spaces that provides STEM learning to students, and builds capacity in teachers. STE(A)M Truck partners with schools, early childhood learning centers, and after-school programs to provide short and long-term programming.

STEM/STEAM Certification is the final step of a process in which schools meet rigorous science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics criteria set forth by the Georgia Department of Education. These schools use project or problem-based learning, have strong community partnerships, engage in cross-disciplinary instruction, and students conduct investigative research.

Retaining Effective Teachers L4L’s math network understands the importance of retaining our region’s math teachers. L4L convened school district HR leaders to develop solutions to address the challenge of teacher attrition. As a result of that collaboration, L4L and GLISI are launching the inaugural cohort of RETAIN (Restoring Teacher Aspiration and Innovation). This cohort of 12 schools across five districts will receive training in best practices for building school culture, and individual coaching. The goal is to develop school leaders’ social-emotional competencies and ultimately improve school culture and teacher retention.