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For the past several years, attention has turned toward reviewing and reframing the curricular pathways in math for students, particularly at the postsecondary level. Focus has shifted not only to math preparedness, but also to redefining the curricular pathways that lead to academic and career success. In higher education, the central principle involves redefining and reorganizing coursework around defined pathways, based on academic and career interests of students. For K-12 institutions, the math pathways reforms have less clear implications. One key organization working in this area--both nationally and in Maine--is the Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The Dana Center has been partnering with the Maine Community College System (MCCS) for several years now, and has supported their progress toward implementing math pathways reforms. For this project, Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) researchers in the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE) were asked to describe and summarize the "mathematics pathways" movement which is currently underway in the state of Maine, as well as in other states across the country. This study of the math pathways movement is designed as a mini-case study to document the status of the reform in progress. Findings review math pathways as a potential means of promoting individualized student learning and career readiness, of clarifying math expectations, and of reducing the need for remedial coursework at the post-secondary level. The successes of and challenges facing individual institutions--from MCCS, to the state universities, to K-12 institutions--are also reviewed. Other challenges, including mitigating issues with tracking and ownership of the reforms, are discussed. The report concludes with recommendations for policymakers.
Jessen, Sarah B. and Johnson, Amy F., "Math Pathways Reforms in Maine" (2020). Maine Education Policy Research Institute. 61.
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