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The Story of the Need

There is strength in numbers but right now, the numbers aren't great.


Math test scores were just starting to rise before the pandemic.


It's hard to overstate how pandemic learning loss has affected math progress ... and more crucially how it is impacting math instruction today as we race to catch up. In two 5th grade classes (total of 45 students), we have students testing at an enormous range: from kindergarten level to eighth grade.

That is simply an insane instructional range that one DCPS math/science teacher is expected to address on a daily basis. 

In a different neighborhood with more resources, families would likely be hiring private tutors to boost their children's math levels. That is not an option for families in a Title I school.

Strength in Numbers DC is an outside DCPS partner organization that receives no funding from the District. We are doing our part to help our elementary students meet or approach grade level standards before they go to middle school. 


How pandemic learning loss affected math achievement

If you've read anything about the educational aftermath of the pandemic, you may have learned about pre-pandemic gains that got wiped out. There's a lot being written about the post-pandemic uphill climb to math competency. 


Why is 5th grade a crucial year for math?

In DCPS, fifth grade is the last year of elementary school. Accumulated gaps in learning (compounded by the lost year of 2020-21) culminate in a fifth grade reality that needs to simultaneously reinforce conceptual foundations of math while rapidly accelerating fluency and automaticity with algorithms. 

So much algebra.jpg

Why is it crucial to prepare elementary students for algebra? 

Did you know that algebra is a gatekeeper for positive life outcomes? More soon coming about the  work of the late Bob Moses, the civil rights pioneer and author of "Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project." 

What is high- impact tutoring?


The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is the education agency that regulates and guides all DCPS schools. During the height of the pandemic, OSSE designated high-impact tutoring as the following:

- high dosage (at least 90 minutes weekly)

- ideally 1:1 if feasible (no more than four students)

- tutoring during the school day (to connect tutors with classroom teachers) 

Sadly,these photos from our work during the 2022-23 school year do NOT 
high-impact tutoring ... too many students in a pull-out group. This year Strength in Numbers is rigorously following the OSSE guidelines for HIT work.  

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