October 16, 2018

Yamashiro and Team Welcome Member to Study Math Pathways to College

Garden maze; courtesy Andrea Schaufler/Wikimedia Commons
Garden maze; courtesy Andrea Schaufler/Wikimedia Commons

Do specific high school math courses help struggling students successfully make the transition to college-level math?

Or do these students get lost in a maze anyways?

To answer these questions, an initial grant of $100,000 from the College Futures Foundation will support the Math Pathways Project, a new effort to understand course-taking experiences of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The grant enables Tatiana Melguizo, a USC researcher, to join forces with CGU and UCLA researchers and the Los Angeles Education Research Institute (LAERI), whose executive director is Kyo Yamashiro, an associate professor of education in the university’s School of Educational Studies.

“We are so fortunate to engage in this long-standing research-practice partnership alongside our LAUSD colleagues,”said Yamashiro, who co-founded the institute with UCLA’s Meredith Phillips.

Yamashiro added that the new grant will be leveraged to develop a longer-term study of math pathways to better inform instructional practice and policy.

“It’s exciting to extend this collaboration to include one of our new research partners at USC, thanks to this initial grant from the College Futures Foundation,” she said. “We anticipate that this is going to lead us to a larger, longitudinal study to answer deeper questions about promising math course-taking pathways that contribute to college math success.”

For Frances Gipson (PhD, Education, 2012), the new grant also establishes another important connection with LAERI.

“This grant will build on our existing research-practice partnership with LAERI, by digging into our students’ math experience and learning more about how we are preparing them for future college success,” said Gipson, L.A. Unified’s chief academic officer.