TN Math Alignment Group begins work to identify learning gaps for students between high school & college mathematics

TN Math Alignment Group works to identify learning gaps for students between high school, college mathematics

The Tennessee Math Alignment Group, composed of 25 math educators and advocates from across the state, has launched an effort to identify learning gaps for students between high school and college mathematics and make policy recommendations to bridge them.

The group will review data and explore areas of opportunity before first presenting its recommendations to the Tennessee Department of Education and the State Board of Education regarding the direction of high school mathematics in Tennessee. The Tennessee Math Alignment Group’s initial focus will be strengthening the alignment of both math standards and mathematics courses between high school and college to ensure that students are better prepared for college and career success. Its review will include the sequencing of high school math classes for students heading to postsecondary classrooms of all types. Their recommendations will heavily influence the next periodic review cycle for K-12 mathematics standards set to begin this fall.

The group was established by a facilitation team representing the state Department of Education, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Board of Regents. The initiative grew out of a multi-state High School to College Math Pathways Forum hosted in May by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS).

After the forum, the Tennessee team developed an action plan, established the Tennessee Math Alignment Group and broadened its membership to a total of 25 math teachers, administrators and advocates representing K-12 and higher education. The group convened Tuesday for the first time.

“Tennessee Math Alignment Group will develop policy recommendations for both K-12 and higher education to help address the gaps and inconsistencies that exist in our current system,” said Dr. Robert Denn, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Tennessee Board of Regents, a member of TMAG’s facilitation team. “Tennessee has the opportunity to be a national leader in this work as we prepare many more students for postsecondary success.

“TMAG represents all interests across the state, from those who shape educational policy to those who teach in both K-12 and college classrooms. I’m grateful to the educators and advocates who agreed to help in this critical work by volunteering their time and expertise as members of this task force,” Denn said.

The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences is an umbrella organization of 18 professional societies whose primary objectives are the increase or diffusion of knowledge in the mathematical sciences.  The High School to College Mathematics Forum hosted by CBMS in May focused on three issues: responding to the changing role of mathematics in the economy, ensuring college readiness today and tomorrow, and articulating the mathematical pathways that will serve all students.

The Charles A. Dana Center of The University of Texas at Austin is assisting CBMS with its high school to college math collaboration. The Dana Center develops and scales mathematics and science education innovations to support educators, administrators and policy makers in creating seamless transitions throughout K-12 and college for all students, especially those who have historically been underserved.

Members of the Tennessee Math Alignment Group are:

  • Holly Anthony, professor of mathematics education, Tennessee Technological University
  • Bobby Cox, superintendent, Warren County Schools
  • Robert Denn, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, Tennessee Board of Regents
  • Robert Eby, vice chair, State Board of Education
  • Beth Fugate, mathematics coordinator, Bradley County Schools
  • Samantha Gutter, senior director of strategic initiatives, State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE)
  • Victoria Harpool, assistant executive director for academic affairs, Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)
  • Rory Hinson, high school supervisor, Gibson County Special School District
  • Deborah Knoll, director of STEAM programs and STEM Council lead, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Stephanie Kolitsch, director of accreditation, The University of Tennessee Martin
  • Ellen Matheny, assistant professor of mathematics, Pellissippi State Community College
  • Virginia Mayfield, director of mathematics, science and fine arts, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Peter Melvin, mathematics department chair, Volunteer State Community College
  • Brian Mitchell, mathematics department curriculum chair, Motlow State Community College
  • Jeff Moorhouse, superintendent, Kingsport City Schools
  • Brittany Mosby, director of HBCU success, THEC
  • Ed Nichols, mathematics department head, Chattanooga State Community College
  • Bob Obrohta, executive director, Tennessee College Access & Success Network
  • Breanne Oldham, mathematics teacher, Jackson-Madison County Schools
  • Kyle Prince, math specialist grades 9-12, Rutherford County Schools
  • Mahmuda Sultana, mathematics department head, Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Malissa Trent, dean of mathematics and director of learning support, Northeast State Community College
  • Jackie Vogel, professor of mathematics, Austin Peay State University
  • Priscilla Wampler, mathematics instructional coach, Greeneville City Schools
  • David Williams, chief academic officer, Metro Nashville Public Schools

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.