Here’s a word problem for you…

There are more than 200,000 students in middle school in New York City.
And they are sitting in about 8,000 different math classes.

If 46% of them are one year behind their grade level, and if another 14% are at least two or more years behind, and if 57% of all these students also have trouble reading (which makes doing word problems extra hard), and if 100% of all teachers have to bring them up to grade level by the end of the year, the question is:

What can you make to help teachers support students catch up?

Welcome to the challenge!

The Problems

The majority of middle school students are behind in their math skills, so teaching at grade level to a whole class can be challenging.

And that’s not trivial.

The skills students acquire in middle school math are fundamental for other subjects for their next years in school, and for their future. Not mastering these core skills now affects students down the road.

What makes it more complex is – it’s not just about math skills.

The reasons for the gap are varied: some kids struggle with language or literacy, some don’t see the relevance of math to their world, and others are so far behind that they don’t even try to engage.

And this isn’t only about the students. Teachers face many constraints when it comes to addressing the gap.

Teachers struggle to find time to connect with one another, let alone research new solutions. And given how hard it is to prepare lessons for a class with significant differences in skill level and motivation, even basic lesson planning can be a challenge. To top it all off, Common Core standards are new for everyone.

The Challenge

But there are many opportunities to create solutions.
Which is where you come in. Help teachers help kids catch up.

What schools need are apps that close the gaps. Gap Apps.

We’re calling them Gap Apps for a reason: with so much to do, and so many needs to address, there simply isn’t one silver bullet that will address everything. It’s about finding the places where you feel most inspired and best able to help.

Some apps might be used with teachers and students in the classroom. Others may not directly touch the students at all – they might simply help a teacher better manage time, or collaborate with a colleague.

Ready to help? Click here for a few ideas of ways to get started on your Gap App.