Leveling the Playing Field in Math - Online Summit

Free Online Event: Leveling the Playing Field in Math

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It’s common to hear students say that they’re just not “math people.” But the idea that math is an innate ability can limit kids’ prospects and reinforce racial and gender stereotypes. In this summit our reporters and their guests will explore ways to support all students in math classrooms in elementary, middle, and high schools.

This afternoon’s discussions will also include a look at math teachers’ preservice preparation and the perennial struggle to find highly qualified math teachers to staff classrooms in disadvantaged communities.


May 20, 2020
1-3 p.m. ET*

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*Agenda and times subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

  • 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET | Discussions Open
    Education Week journalists and their special guests provide practical takeaways about leveling the playing field in math.

    Room 1: Math Talk
    Moderator: Catherine Gewertz, Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week
    ‣ In this discussion, our guests will explore the push to get students doing the talking and reasoning in math class.
    ‣ What does that look like?
    ‣ Is it more effective with particular demographics of students?

    Room 2: High-Performing ELLs and Students With Disabilities
    Moderator: Corey Mitchell, Staff Writer, Education Week
    ‣ How do teachers serve and connect with English-learners and special education students who are high-performing in math but have other challenges? And how do they ensure they’re identifying these students in ways that aren’t reliant on strong verbal or reading skills? In this discussion, our guests will examine how to best connect with the high-performing students we don’t often recognize.

    Room 3: Developing Your Student’s Math Identity
    Moderator: Sarah Schwartz, Staff Writer, Education Week
    ‣ In this discussion, our guests from the Howard County School District in Maryland will discuss math curriculum that’s designed to help students examine and reshape their math identities and see themselves as a “math people.” At the end of the year the students write about their math journeys. Find out how this is being implemented in this large school system.

    Room 4: Math Coaching
    Moderator: Madeline Will, Staff Writer, Education Week
    ‣ Just 18 percent of public schools had a math coach in the 2015-16 school year, according to federal data, and there’s little research available about math coaching practices. But that might be changing: Recent studies have looked at ways to develop a math coaching program that raises student achievement. In this discussion, expert guests will explore what effective math coaching looks like in practice.

  • 2:30–3:00 p.m. ET | Final Reporter Wrap-up
    Leveling the Playing Field in Math: In Conversation With Education Week
    The Education Week newsroom will close out the day with insights from the discussions they’ve had with you, the readers.

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Catherine Gewertz
Senior Contributing Writer, Education Week

Gewertz covers curriculum and instruction. In recognition of her expert reporting on assessment, the National Council on Measurement in Education named her the winner of its 2019 award for Excellence in Public Communication. Since joining Education Week in 1999, Gewertz has been the lead reporter on the common core and assessment and has covered urban schools. Previously, she was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times and United Press International.

Corey Mitchell
Staff Writer, Education Week

Mitchell writes about the challenges and opportunities in teaching students with distinct needs, including English-language learners, students with disabilities, children who are homeless or incarcerated, and gifted students. A four-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Award, Mitchell’s reporting has also won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists. Prior to joining Education Week in 2014, Mitchell worked as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. During his time covering politics and Congress, Mitchell was a 2013-14 National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow.

Sarah Schwartz
Staff Writer, Education Week

Schwartz is a reporter for Education Week who covers curriculum and instruction. Before joining the staff, she was as an Education Week intern, covering education technology. She has also worked at a middle school in East Harlem, New York.

Madeline Will
Staff Writer, Education Week

Will is a reporter for Education Week who covers the teaching profession. She joined the staff in 2016, initially as the assistant editor for Education Week Teacher, a section dedicated to the firsthand perspectives of teachers. Before joining Education Week, Madeline was the publications fellow for a legal nonprofit, the Student Press Law Center. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science.