Math Achievement

American students’ math achievement nationally has been improving slowly since 2003. But U.S. 15-year-olds fall behind 22 countries on one international test and 12 on another. Math is a frustrating subject for many students and their parents and educators and policymakers agree the U.S. needs to do a better job to remain competitive in an increasingly technical global economy. Poor math skills exacerbate inequities, shut people out of jobs and make it hard for voters to understand complex issues such as the cost of health care and the size of the national debt.

Brainy black and Hispanic students might benefit most from ‘honors’ classrooms

Two studies suggest that tracking doesn't always exacerbate inequality

Schools exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor, a 33-country study finds

Rich kids get steered into more demanding math classes while poor kids get less challenging content

Black math scores lag the most in segregated schools

But study finds greatest black-white achievement gaps inside the typical school, not between black and white schools

New York experience shows Common Core tests can come at a cost for underprivileged students

Low-income students, disabled students and English language learners show sharper declines than general population in Common Core high school algebra exam

Signs that fewer black students are taking calculus in high school

New high school transcript data show that 45 percent of Asian-Americans now take calculus

U.S. private school students not much better than public school students in math

In the 2012 international test that measures what 15-year-old students know, called PISA, private school students did only a smidgen better than public school students on the math test. Almost…

America’s math problem: Should we get rid of algebra?

Is math holding the United States back? Last week, a community-college student from Harlem, speaking at a meeting of educators and community activists, told a harrowing story about his…


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U.S. math education is broken

If the United States is going to remain economically competitive and a leader in new technologies, the capacity of its high school and college graduates to do math must improve.…

Recruiting and retaining math teachers

(Courtesy Milken Family Foundation) Good math teachers are hard to find. Some school districts have resorted to recruiting math teachers from overseas, while others have offered perks…

Math education at home and abroad

The familiar high school math sequence – Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry – is so ingrained that it’s easy to forget there are other ways to learn mathematics. In…