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Education Problem: The National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2009 showed that 38% of fourth-graders were proficient in math, declining to 34% for eighth-graders and 26% for 12th graders. While these numbers are dismal, more worrisome is the significant downward trend from 4th to 12th grade. Today’s math curriculum is disengaging students and turning them off from learning math. Our mission is to fix this problem by forever changing how students use and perceive math in their lives.
Missing Element: The descriptor “real world” is used 51 times in the Common Core Math Standards. However, in practical classroom application, this critical element is all but missing in most math programs nationally. To make math more real, it is essential to provide students with current, dynamic, real world numerical data that they can explore with their math skills. This makes math real. The math products offered by the major publishers rarely do this. And when they do, the numbers are often fictitious or out-dated, and designed to support concept acquisition as opposed to concept application.
Proposed Solution: We are re-purposing the world’s multi-topic, numerical data from the Internet and enabling students to: 1) use them as a foundation to apply their math skills in meaningful ways, and
2) experience math as a critical tool that makes their lives better. In doing so, not only will students advance their math skills, but they will also obtain actionable information from the data that they can use to improve their lives in the present, thereby experiencing the incredible value of math. This is a disruptive, game-changing approach that schools need, students expect and our country demands.
DES Product: The proposed product consists of two components, content and teacher training.
1. Classroom21 (content) will be a supplemental math product consisting of an ever-growing and constantly changing database of data-enriched real world applications of math for grades 5-6, which are the entrance grades to most middle schools. Product is delivered online via an Internet-enabled computer with a projection device. Alternatively, applications can be individually printed.
2. Value Based Instruction (Training): VBI will consist of a video series addressing four concepts to aid teachers in data-enriched, real world math; 1) teacher positioning, 2) establishing a math value proposition, 3) value innovating, and 4) how to integrate math apps into the curriculum.
Outcomes of Classroom21 are expected to be: 1) Students possess a deeper understanding of math concepts and can better apply them in real world situations; 2) Teachers are better equipped to engage students in meaningful math application and 3) math perception changes from one of dread for most students to one where math is understood as an essential tool to successfully navigate and succeed in life.

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