Quantitative Leap: How Math Policies Can Support Transitions To and Through College

Mar 22nd, 2018
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“Just as the perceived health of the population could decline overnight if health officials were to change the definition of “high cholesterol,” changes in definitions and measures of proficiency at the postsecondary school level can radically alter the perceived quantitative reasoning levels of students.”
Quantitative Leap:
How Math Policies Can Support Transitions To and Through College 

 

California’s education systems need to revamp their math policies, according to a new policy brief by policy analyst Pamela Burdman. Better coordinated policies will ensure that students face fewer arbitrary barriers to success. Focused on ways of ensuring that more students can take required college-level math courses upon college enrollment, the brief homes in on three obstacles – dueling definitions of quantitative reasoning proficiency, inaccurate measures of quantitative reasoning, and insufficient opportunities to attain quantitative reasoning – and present concrete recommendations for how the education systems can work together to devise better policies and more opportunities for students to attain the quantitative reasoning skills they need for college and for life.

Two years since its publication, many of the recommendations in Quantitative Leap are being implemented by California’s higher education systems. To build awareness and support for these policies and their effective implementation, LearningWorks is partnering with the Opportunity Institute, PACE, Education Trust West, and the Campaign for College Opportunity to launch a new effort, the Just Equations Project. Just Equations seeks to re-conceptualize the role of mathematics in ensuring educational opportunities.

Quantitative Leap:How Math Policies Can Support Transitions To and Through College was developed as an outcome of a November 2015 summit hosted by LearningWorks:

Testing and Beyond: The Future of College Math Placement in California

The summit and brief built on a three-part series of reports that LearningWorks co-published with PACE (Policy Analysis for California Education): Degrees of Freedom

To delve further into the Quantitative Leap recommendations, LearningWorks also hosted a webinar series with The Opportunity Institute.

Webinar Series:
Quantitative Leap How Math Policies Can Support Transitions To and Through College

Webinar 1 – A Gateway to College: Rethinking Postsecondary Mathematics
May 25, 11am – 12:15pm Pacific (2pm – 3:15pm Eastern)

Mathematics plays a fundamental role as a gateway to higher education. Besides the general education mathematics courses that students typically take to earn a degree, a large proportion of students are assigned to postsecondary remedial math courses when they arrive in college. Join us to hear about how college and university math faculty in two states are revising statewide policies and practices for these sequences. The goal is to position all students to succeed in college and beyond.

You can listen to the webinar by clicking the play button below:

Here is a direct link to the LW Webinar 1 PDF Powerpoint Presentation.

Webinar 2 – Improving the Targeting of Treatment: Emerging Research on Postsecondary Math Placement Policies
June 8, 11am – 12:15pm Pacific (2pm – 3:15pm Eastern)

Recent research on college remediation has revealed the limitations of traditional placement tests and practices for accurately measuring the capacity of students in mathematics. These limitations raise the possibility that large proportions of college students are being under-placed and required to repeat courses they’ve successfully completed in high school, delaying or deterring their progress to a degree. Some higher education institutions are developing new assessment policies with a goal of improving math readiness, college success, and equity in student outcomes. Join this webinar to explore the research and implementation efforts.

You can listen to the webinar by clicking the play button below:

Here is a direct link to the LW Webinar 2 PDF Powerpoint Presentation.

Webinar 3 – High School Math Course-Taking and College Readiness

September 21, 1pm – 2:15pm Pacific (4pm – 5:15pm Eastern)

Improving college readiness in math is a priority for education systems nationally. In California, about three-quarters of community college students are placed into remedial math courses, and about a third of students bound for the California State University system are not considered proficient in math upon finishing high school. African American and Latino students are disproportionately represented among these students.

You can listen to the webinar by clicking the play button below:

Here is a direct link to the LW Webinar 3 PDF Powerpoint Presentation.

Webinar 4 – Seizing Twelfth Grade to Improve Math Readiness: Senior-Year Transition Courses
October 27, 11:00am – 12:15pm Pacific (2pm – 3:15pm Eastern)
Faced with high proportions of students needing remedial math courses in college, education systems across the country are prioritizing the goal of improving college readiness. Approaches include both strengthening K12 instruction and improving alignment with postsecondary expectations. One relatively new strategy that combines these approaches and links postsecondary institutions and K12 school is the design of senior-year transition courses. These courses aim to ensure students are ready for the demands of college-level math courses. Join us to hear from researchers and practitioners about efforts to implement transition courses and their success to date.

You can listen to the webinar by clicking the play button below:

Here is a direct link to the LW Webinar 4 PDF Powerpoint Presentation.

  • Gina Dalma

    Exactly! Thanks for focusing on the need for objective and transparent placement practices – SB 359