Counting Sheep: New Math in Richmond
For years, students in Richmond Public Schools have scored among the lowest in Virginia on state math exams. The district recently adopted a new math curriculum, “Eureka Math,” in an effort to turn those scores around.
If you ask the district’s senior leadership team, they’ll tell you the new curriculum is about much more than test scores. They say a lot of teachers across RPS were making up their own lesson plans. That means when kids switch schools, possibly due to housing instability or their parents getting a new job, they have to learn math a whole new way. So it’s about all kids across the district having access to the same learning materials.
It’s also about making sure students are prepared with the math skills they need to excel after high school. Many students graduate from this district without those skills. Last fall, about a third of students at one of the largest community colleges in the Richmond area were recommended for remedial math classes, low-level math courses for struggling students.