Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NGA says Early Math Learning Key To Long-Term Success

Mathematics knowledge acquired in early childhood and early elementary grades is a critical foundation for long-term student success, according to a new paper released today by the National Governors Association (NGA). 
A child’s math ability when he or she enters school has proved a better predictor of academic achievement, high school graduation and college attendance than any other early childhood skill. Early mathematics competency predicts later reading achievement better than early literacy skills. High-quality early mathematics instruction supports later learning of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills U.S. employers require.

Unlocking Young Children’s Potential: Governors’ Role in Strengthening Early Mathematics Learning looks at options governors can take to advance early mathematics education.

“There is a real need for state policies that can improve early mathematics education and yield long-term improvements in the skills of the U.S. workforce,” said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. “As part of their larger education reform agendas, governors can lead on this issue.”

Unfortunately, many students fail to master math skills and concepts during elementary school, developing negative attitudes about their ability to learn math.

As governors respond to the need for significantly improving the quality of public education, they should consider incorporating stronger actions to improve mathematics instruction as part of their reform agenda. Governors can take the following actions to promote high-quality mathematics instruction for young children:
  • Become champions for improving the quality of early mathematics education with legislators, business leaders, educators, parents and students;
  • Align high-quality mathematics standards throughout the educational pipeline, supporting appropriate use of student assessments to measure results; and
  • Promote changes in policies that improve teacher preparation and support the capacity to teach mathematics to young children.
To learn more about the NGA Center for Best Practices Education Division, please visit

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