ConnectED has been awarded two major grants from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to use the Illustrative Math curriculum to help teachers raise the proficiency in mathematics of both middle school and high school students. One of these grants, in partnership with Oakland Unified School District, focuses on Algebra 1, which is one of the primary gatekeepers for high school completion. If students do not pass Algebra 1, they are much less likely to graduate from high school and even less likely to transition successfully to postsecondary education.

The second grant—in partnership with Colton Unified, San Diego Unified, and West Contra Costa Unified—seeks to build the capacity of middle school math teachers so that students will enter high school better prepared to succeed in algebra and other high school math courses. Both initiatives place special emphasis on increasing proficiency among English Language Learners.

Linked Learning and related approaches to college and career pathways offer the promise of leaving high school ready to succeed in college and career. Without a strategy for addressing proficiency in math, this is an empty promise. We’re honored to have the support of the Gates Foundation, as well as the opportunity to partner with Envision Learning Partners to advance this critical work.