The Need

Third grade math, where children acquire the building blocks for multiplication, division, and fractions, is a key checkpoint to make certain a child is on track to be ready for more advanced math. Proficiency in 3rd grade math correlates to 8th grade math placement.

Viewed as a gateway to advanced math and science, 8th grade math is a predictor of college success and career readiness. Studies have found students that did not pass 8th grade math exams were less likely to enroll in college.

The Data
Percentage of 3rd Graders NOT Meeting Math Standards
Percentage of 8th Graders NOT Meeting Math Standards
Key Factors
  • More than 3-in-5 8th graders are not ready for high school math, and 20% of local high school graduates didn’t pass math and computer science classes their freshman year of college in 2014. An inventory of academic services revealed an unmet need for students who are behind in math.
What We’re Doing
  • District and college leaders have formed a Math Pathways team dedicated to understanding and addressing the systemic problems that cause students to fall short of math proficiency standards and to remain behind through postsecondary education.
  • In February 2015, TCCC hosted the first ever meeting of the superintendents and board chairs of the four public school districts serving the tri-county region.  The meeting focused on the results of the Regional Education Report and opportunities for the districts to collaborate to address shared issues.  Among the outcomes of the meeting was the formation of the Lowcountry Education Consortium, an informal group of the four district superintendents that meets monthly to discuss shared interests ranging from inclement weather policies to funding and advocacy.
Algebra Nation

Algebra Nation, a web-based instructional tool that was created in Florida and implemented in South Carolina in 2017, helps teachers facilitate highly personalized learning of Algebra 1.

Through the program, teachers can assign videos to students based on their learning needs, making it possible for students to progress asynchronously through Algebra 1. Students can test themselves using a practice tool and receive personalized feedback to address gaps in their understanding.

They can also receive personalized, real-time feedback from teachers, tutors and peers on the Algebra Wall, which empowers them to learn collaboratively inside and outside of school.

Whenever a student helps another student on the Algebra Wall – such as directing them to an appropriate video to address their question, explaining how to start solving a math problem or by showing their classroom where they’ve made an error – the helper is awarded Karma Points.

Each month, the student who earns the most Karma Points in the state receives a free iPad. A student at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston received a free iPad in December 2017 for earning the most Karma Points in South Carolina on the Algebra Nation platform.

Proficient in 3rd Grade Math

 “Preparing all students for rigorous mathematics and science coursework in middle school and early in high school helps to close the achievement gap among students from differing ethnic and socioeconomic groups.”

American Institutes for Research


Proficient in 8th Grade Math