Going Beyond100K- Sharing our Foundational Math Commitments

As many of you know, September has been a big month for us! On September 19, we launched our new goal, network and name - Beyond100K - at the Clinton Global Initiative gathering in New York City. You can watch the video that was spotlighted at the event here! In a recent email, Talia Milgrom-Elcott, Founder and Executive Director of Beyond100K (formerly 100Kin10), shared this about the new name and network: 

Beyond100K honors the networked impact of our first decade, and it encourages us to continue to dream big: Because when young people experience powerful, inclusive STEM learning and teaching, their potential is limitless, and when we work together, we go beyond what seems possible.

The “moonshot” goal of 100Kin10 was to prepare and retain 100,000 new STEM teachers in 10 years. With Beyond100K we are seeking to”go beyond '' and prepare and retain 150K new STEM teachers, particularly for schools serving majority Black, Latinx, and Native American students, in the next decade. We will also support our network in their quest to prepare teachers who reflect and represent their students and to cultivate workplaces and classrooms of belonging, creating the conditions for all students to thrive in STEM learning. 

The Grand Challenges and the Catalysts

For those that have been working with us for some time, you are probably familiar with the Grand Challenges, which were key to us exceeding our first goal. Grand Challenges are how we identified the “high-leverage opportunities for creating system-level progress.” Our catalysts are the challenges we consider the most significant, strategic, and efficient areas for impacting STEM education, and if solved, would have an outsized, positive impact on the STEM education system. We rolled out one catalyst per year from 2018 - 2020, and mobilized our partners to work on these challenges. The three catalyst challenges are:

  • Nurturing positive work environments for teachers (sometimes referred to as C1) - announced in 2018
  • Enabling joyful and rigorous foundational math (C2) - announced in 2019
  • Increasing equity in high school STEM (C3) - announced 2020

A Focus on Foundational Math

The remainder of this blog will focus on Catalyst 2: Foundational Math. We want to first celebrate the incredible work done by our network around this catalyst over the past ten years, and then get excited about the commitments Beyond100K partners have already made to continue to address this catalyst challenge in the future. Let’s dive into Foundational Math!

100Kin10: Past Partner Work around Foundational Math

Over the past decade, 100Kin10 released two research-based reports to support those working to address this catalyst: Doing the Math: Building a Foundation of Joyful and Authentic Math Learning for All Students (released in 2019) and Reigniting Joyful, Rigorous, and Equitable Foundational Math Learning (100Kin10) (released in 2021) which is an update to address some of the issues raised during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been five project teams and one Community that worked to address challenges related to Foundational Math; you can read more about their work here. In addition, 100Kin10 awarded five implementation grants to continue work started with their project team or community; you can read more about what they have been working on here.

Going Beyond100K: Partner Commitments to Address Foundational Math

We are excited to continue to work towards enabling joyful and rigorous Foundational Math. To date, 130 organizations have joined Beyond100K and committed to our new 10-year goal. Partners represent leading academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies, and have each made specific, public commitments toward reaching this goal. We are so grateful for each one of these commitments!  

As a part of the application to (re)join the network, we asked partners to identify if their organization planned to do work aligned with any of the catalyst focus areas between now and 2027. Among the partners who (re)joined our network, 44 indicated that their work intersects with one or more catalyst focus area, and 46 of those partners reported that their work intersects with Foundational Math. The most common ways that partners reported they plan to engage in work on the catalysts include in-service opportunities for professional development, learning, and growth (28 partners), pre-service teacher training (15 partners), and curriculum development (9 partners). Interestingly, there also was an emphasis on incorporating computer science and computational thinking into STEM across all three catalyst areas (5 partners). Among the partners who reported plans to focus on foundational math, four themes emerged; below is a look at each of these themes.

Preparing Pre-service Teachers

Two of the strategies related to the Foundational Math catalyst are connected to pre-service teacher learning: teacher preparation faculty expertise and instruction and coursework and field experiences for aspiring teachers. Partners that reported plans to focus on these strategies included focusing on integrated STEM in the training of elementary teachers , impacting elementary mathematics teacher education courses, and a focus on equity-based practices.

Partners working on this theme include Fort Hays State University; Reconstruction; Teach For America; The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin; The University of California, Santa Barabara; The University of Maryland System; and The University of South Carolina. 

Professional development for in-service teachers

One of the key strategies related to Foundational Math highlighted in the Doing the Math report is Professional Growth and Instructional Supports. In keeping with this theme, one of the suggestions from 100Kin10’s Reigniting Joyful, Rigorous, and Equitable Foundational Math Learning report was to prioritize consistent math professional development. Partners that reported plans to focus on these strategies included offering professional development around integrating math and science and integrated STEM, incorporating data science & data literacy into elementary mathematics, research-informed teaching and thinking practices in mathematics, and equity-based practices and meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Partners working on this theme include California Science Center; Community Resources for Science; Data Science 4 Everyone; Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance; MIND Research; Teaching Channel; and The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin; STEMteachersNYC.

Curriculum and Resources

Professional growth and instructional supports also entail thinking about how we can provide curriculum and resources to support teachers in continuing to grow in math content knowledge and pedagogy. Partners that reported plans to focus on these strategies included supporting teachers with resources around anti-racist instruction in mathematics and science and incorporating data science and data literacy into elementary mathematics.

Partners working on this theme include California STEM Network; Data Science 4 Everyone; and Reconstruction.

Culture and Perceptions of Mathematics

Another strategy related to Foundational Math is related to perceptions of math, and a related suggestion from the updated report is keeping joy front and center. Partners that reported plans to focus on these strategies included creating a culture of celebration around mathematics and promoting cultural change to shift perceptions around math. 

Partners working on this theme include IDEA Public Schools and MIND Research.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the incredible work that has already been done to address Foundational Math, and the commitments made to continuing this work in the decade to come.