New program will help narrow math achievement gaps in Hamilton County Schools

Hamilton County Schools recently announced the creation of Math Matters, an initiative that engages students in math through game play and traditional lessons to appeal to their interests.

“The goal of Math Matters is for all students to engage in math skills daily and grow their math fluency,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. 
“Our district is committed to accelerating student achievement, and we believe this new program will help narrow achievement gaps in Hamilton County Schools.”

Hamilton County public schools have an average math proficiency score of 34 percent (versus the Tennessee public school average of 35 percent). 
Nationwide research indicates that fewer Black students are proficient in math. 

SAT scores by race using the College Board’s publicly available data for more than 2.1 million 2020 high school graduates, with a particular focus on the math section, show stark gaps between Black and other race students. 

Administered by the College Board, the SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. 

The class of 2020 averaged a score of 523 of 800 on the math section of the SAT, slightly below the College Board’s college-readiness benchmark score of 530. However, the average scores for Black (454) students were significantly lower than those of white (547) and Asian students (632). 

More than half (59 percent) of white and four-fifths of Asian test takers met the college readiness math benchmark, compared to less than a quarter of Black students. 

The College Board predicted that the average SAT test taker would earn less than a C in their first-year math course.

Hamilton County’s Math Matters offers students a combination of learning activities that focus on math fact fluency, computation and word problems. 

Students can access the program on any device at any time through the Classlink website, which houses all of their online learning tools.

Progress and participation will automatically be tracked, and students will have the opportunity to earn both individual and schoolwide prizes throughout the program including gift cards, snacks and class parties. 

The top schoolwide prize is a $10,000 library and the top individual student prize is being name Student Superintendent of the Day.