MATH LITERACY IS THE KEY TO 21st CENTURY CITIZENSHIP
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Dear Friends of the Algebra Project: 2017 year-end letter

 

December 2017

Dear Friends of the Algebra Project,

Greetings! This year we are executing a “Design and Development Launch Pilot” (DDLP, #1649342) from a new National Science Foundation initiative to foster national alliances that will broaden participation in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education and workforce preparation through collective impact. The initiative, called INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science), gave us the opportunity to energize efforts to build a national Alliance designed to enable students in Grades K-12 who now perform in the bottom quartile in mathematics (according to state tests) to graduate from high school able to do college or career mathematics without “remediation.”

Together with the Southern Initiative Algebra Project, Inc. (SIAP), and the Young People’s Project, Inc. (YPP), we organized two national gatherings with pre and post work to articulate our theory of collective action and a strategic plan. Those gatherings brought together schools, districts, universities, community based groups and individuals to establish “Voice Groups” for students, teachers, school leaders and community organizers. Participants initiated meetings across sites, articulated their experiences, and joined in discussions with university researchers and education policy specialists who share this mission.

This work takes place within the broader framework of the human value every society on the planet assigns to the raising of its young to participate fully in that society’s life. In our country the educational dimension of this human value requires constitutional protection. In that sense this work carries forward the legacy of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, in particular the voter registration work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the movement’s Mississippi Theater. That work pursued the right to vote as an expression of the human worth of Black people viewed as citizens of the nation and demanded of it Constitutional protection. That legacy and that work is now moving forward in the domain of math literacy through the Alliance we are building.

The emerging Alliance is comprised of 12 universities, including 6 HBCUs; 5 community organizing groups of which 2 serve multiple states; 9 schools implementing the project’s Grade 8-12 instructional materials; >30 more schools implementing the project pedagogy in Grades preK-8; 7 sites implementing YPP; district leaders in 4 large urban districts as well as a Midwest region of 10 districts; leading researchers at 2 mathematics education institutes and 1 mathematical sciences research institute; 3 cultural institutions and 1 professional association for teachers. We seek to develop a national Alliance that will have significant, measurable and national impact on achievement of our goal in the coming five years. During this process, we are welcoming many new collaborators and are excited about working together.

Our work over three decades has positioned us to be the catalyst for an emerging national “We the People – Math Literacy for All” Alliance. The rich nature of our efforts is shown in the following videos:

“Voice” videos from NSF INCLUDES Conference, St. Louis, MO, 5/19/17 – 5/21/17:

The NSF has challenged the nation to develop alliances but is currently funding only “pilot” studies. The NSF has also indicated that it is likely that they will not have the level of funding originally anticipated to support promising alliances. Please help us to maximize the national impact of our pilot work – click here for JustGive donation page.

Sincerely,

Bob Moses, Bill Crombie, Edwige Kenmegne, & Ben Moynihan
for the Algebra Project

PHOTO: From our NSF INCLUDES Conference, “Working Math Literacy from the Bottom Up on Behalf of the Bottom Quartile,” May 19th – 21st, 2017, St. Louis, MO. Credits for photo and videos: Marcus Hung, Room 212 Productions, 2017.

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The Algebra Project, Inc.
99 Bishop Richard Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139.

 


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