Local ISD Seeks to Improve Math Programs


Richardson ISD administration building | Image by Dallas Morning News

Richardson ISD’s interim superintendent has announced that a new priority for the district will be attempting to close “academic and opportunity gaps in math.”

According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, Richardson ISD Interim Superintendent Tabitha Branum gave a presentation detailing the district’s goals when approaching math instruction.

“Math is the art of being puzzled and un-puzzling yourself. You begin with a program you don’t understand. Then, using the skills from your toolbox, higher-order thinking skills, and teacher guidance, you slowly begin to see how all the pieces fit together. That is the beauty of math,” Branum explained.

Branum said that math instruction has three key areas across all grade levels: numeracy, computational skills, and algebraic reasoning.

To address the disparities in education and opportunity, Branum says the district will focus on two specific math courses it considers vital to student achievement.

The academic-related goal targets third-grade math, which is critical in determining if students are equipped for academic success.

The opportunity-related goal is to enhance students’ chances of graduating from high school. Hence, it focuses on Algebra 1, as research shows passing this course is indicative of whether students will graduate.

Details of Richardson ISD’s intended approach and how it plans to do things differently have not yet been revealed. Branum’s presentation only noted the district’s aspirations.

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