While math achievement gaps among the nation’s fourth-graders have narrowed in recent years, achievement gaps evident in eighth grade have not changed. There is a clear need for interventions that can help middle-grades students develop critical pre-algebra concepts—rational number, ratio, and proportion concepts—to close the achievement gap in middle school.

EDC is conducting a pilot study of the Middle Grades Math Data Collaborative, funded by Schmidt Futures. The Collaborative is analyzing student interim assessment data to understand growth patterns in the mathematics skills of a national cohort of struggling middle-grade students. Researchers will develop metrics and models of math learning to identify strategies to improve students’ mathematics achievement.

Key Activities

Examples of the project’s activities include:

  • Identify key mathematics skills and concepts that that enable students to successfully transition from arithmetic to pre-algebra, as well as concepts that are typical stumbling blocks
  • Develop profiles of the mathematics achievement of disadvantaged students in geographically and demographically varied school and districts
  • Identify classrooms that are particularly successful in supporting mathematics learning for students in poverty or with low prior achievement


  • Leverage longitudinal data from over 10.2 million students across the United States to provide new insights into how to meet the needs of struggling mathematics learners

Learn More

Schmidt Futures

Northwest Evaluation Association

Bodies of Work