The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found -- and research shows -- that Algebra I consistently serves as a good indicator of whether or not students will graduate high school. Students who do not complete Algebra I are less likely to graduate from high school than students who do complete the course. More specifically, Algebra I has been positioned as a gatekeeper; a barrier to Black and Latinx students who have been traditionally marginalized in math. Because of this, The Gates Foundation has issued a Grand Challenge called Balance the Equation for organizations and school districts to reimagine what Algebra I could look like infused with inclusive and responsive practices for Black and Latinx students. Over 400 school districts and organizations answered the challenge and created proposals for Balance the Equation. BetterLesson, in partnership with Desmos, was 1 of 15 organizations that received funding to create a phase one pilot for which we developed 13 instructional strategies included on this page.
To learn more about this project, view this video.