Preparing Middle-School Students for Success

A $6.2 million grant from the Gates foundation ensures middle school math programs prepare students for success.

A middle school teacher instructs a student in a classroom environment.

A $6.2 million grant from the Gates foundation ensures middle school math programs prepare students for success.

Photo credit: iStock

A grant recently awarded to the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) will help ensure students are receiving high-quality mathematics education in middle school — crucial years that can impact students’ chances at successful high school graduation and post-secondary career success.

Although more middle schools are adopting high-quality math curriculum, research shows the systems that support instruction are often lacking or misaligned, especially for underrepresented and marginalized students.

NIRN will help address this issue as a Learning Partner for the Effective Implementation Cohort, or EIC, thanks to funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Overall, the foundation will invest approximately $47 million into the cohort of curriculum and professional learning providers and their partnering Local Education Agencies. NIRN has received an almost $6.2 million award.

“This investment is allowing NIRN to provide implementation supports in an effort to advocate successful mathematics trajectories for middle school priority student populations,” said Ximena Franco-Jenkins, PhD, an advanced research scientist at FPG and co-principal investigator on this project.

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