80% of students who fail to complete Algebra I do not graduate from high school. In order to succeed and move to advanced mathematics, students need Algebra classrooms with purposeful, equitable practices in place to support them.

Empowering Algebra For All addresses the teaching of those who have been historically marginalized in math, including Black and Latinx students, students who speak a language other than English, and students affected by poverty in the United States to help all learners see themselves as competent mathematicians with valid, unique contributions to offer.

Focus Area

Empowering Algebra for All

Empowering Algebra for All Workshop Series

There is a persistent, inexcusable gap between the math performance of white students and students of color. This workshop series enables educators to actively work to design the Algebra learning experience to promote equity by focusing on improving the experience of Black and Latinx students and engaging all learners in rigorous, meaningful learning.

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Workshop 1

Exploring Identity to Create an Inclusive and Affirming Algebra Classroom

Outcome: I support students to develop positive mathematical identities.

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Workshop 2

Building Systems that Support Student Agency in Algebra Class

Outcome: I design equitable classes to help my students access and enjoy Algebra.

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Workshop 3

Inspiring Our Students Through Social & Cultural Connections to Algebra

Outcome: I connect Algebra with students’ lives to help them understand math as a useful tool.

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Personalized Virtual 1:1 Instructional Coaching

In addition to completing the workshop series, 1:1 Coaching provides educators with a safe space and expert guidance to explore the new concepts and skills introduced by Empowering Algebra for All. Educators work with an expert coach to overcome challenges, create effective systems, and apply new strategies to create student-centered Algebra classrooms.

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Learning Strategies From Our Library

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Everyday Inquiry in Mathematics

Learn how an emphasis on inquiry-based activities creates opportunities for students to use cultural contexts to communicate math

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Reflecting on the Cultural Responsiveness of a Math Lesson

Use the CRMT-TM Lesson Analysis Tool to reflect on strengths and areas for improvement in how a math lesson promotes thinking and equity.

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Connecting Mathematics to Cultural Experiences

Explore how to connect math to multiple areas including art, health, civics, science, technology, history, economics and culture

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Our Partners in Student-Centered Math

The Empowering Algebra for All professional learning series was made possible by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the Foundation’s first ever U.S. education Grand Challenge, Balance the Equation, BetterLesson was tasked with designing a solution to make Algebra 1 more accessible, relevant, and collaborative for students who are Black, Latino, English Learners, and/or experiencing poverty. 

“Great workshop. Really made me think outside the box on how to make math relevant to my students' lives.”

"I am excited to incorporate more learning activities from student recommendations/topic requests in order to engage my students by showing I value their input and backgrounds."

“The BetterLesson team provides time to give feedback and interact with others. Resources that are provided are relatable and can be used for various levels of learners.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do these workshops in a different order?

It’s possible to complete the three workshops in a different order, but we recommend completing them in order to give educators the best experience.

What are the requirements for data collection?

We’re requesting some data from districts in order to test the efficacy of Empowering Algebra for All during its pilot program stage. Students will not be involved in data collection or feedback. The data collection we’re requesting is:


  • Complete a 10-15 minute baseline survey before the workshop series begins and a follow-up survey at the end of the school year to measure any shifts in mindsets and practices
  • Complete a 3-5 minute Satisfaction and Reaction Survey after each workshop
  • Be asked for permission to use quotes or to participate in an interview 

District Administrators

  • Coordinate with the Algebra I Program Manger on collecting and securing student demographic data and academic data. A district data administrator or SIS administrator would be a helpful point person to streamline this.

Is Empowering Algebra for All critical race theory?

No. Empowering Algebra for all is a targeted dive into student-centered learning that focuses on developing teaching practices that include, encourage, and support Black and Latinx students, who historically have a disproportionate Algebra I failure rate.

Can we use our curriculum with these workshops?

Yes. These workshops are all curriculum agnostic. Our focus is on effective mathematical pedagogy, which applies to all curriculum. We do not adapt our workshop to include district curriculum, but we can reference the curriculum during the Build portion of the workshop.

How do these workshops/coaching support math content?

The focus of Empowering Algebra for All is on pedagogy. Coaching could help with the teaching of content but coaching is done in the context of the teacher’s work. 

Are these workshops appropriate for teachers who work with students with disabilities?

Yes, in so far as supporting all teachers to understand and put equitable practices in place to support their students in seeing themselves as competent mathematicians with valid, unique contributions to offer. 


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