> Models for schools, districts, and states

There are many models through which individual schools, city-wide districts, or entire states can integrate data science into K-12 math education. Many of our partners, including members of the Messy Data Coalition, have already developed curricula and lesson plans for these models, or are actively working to do so. Most of these concepts can be applied to both traditional and integrated math curriculums. Explore four possible models below, some which have already been adopted by some school districts, and will be soon by entire states. Models like these can also complement and strengthen K-12 computer science education—through mathematics. 

1-Year Course
Merge & Purge

Less Modification

More Modification


1-Year Course

>   Model: a one-year elective dedicated to teaching the basics of data science in late high school.

>   Lead Partner: Introduction to Data Science (IDS)UCLA CenterX

>   Implementation? Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) adopted the course in 2014. For the 2020 school year, 3,200 students across 51 schools in Southern California are currently enrolled. The course is also approved as a "C" course in the University of California A-G requirements, and validates the Algebra II requirement.

Program Description:

"Introduction to Data Science (IDS) Curriculum teaches students to reason with, and think critically about, data in all forms. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for High School Statistics and Probability relevant to data science are taught along with the data demands of good citizenship in the 21st century. Additionally, IDS provides access to rigorous learning that fuses mathematics with computer science through the use of R/RStudio, an open-source programming language/environment that has long been the standard for academic statisticians and analysts in industry."


Merge & Purge

>   Model: Geometry & Algebra II are cut to ½-years, and ½-years of Data Science & Statistics are integrated.

>   Lead Partner: Center for RISC / University of Chicago

>   Implementation? The Oregon Mathematics Project is proposing a similar 2+1 Curriculum Model.

Program Description:

This model proposes a "merge and purge" of traditional K-12 mathematics, typically organized into the Algebra I—Geometry—Algebra II sequence. By removing less relevant content, typical topics in Geometry and Algebra II are each condensed to a 1/2-year. The new space would then be filled by integrating a full year of topics in data science, statistics, and mathematical modeling using contemporary computational tools.  This teaches some of the same mathematical logic necessary for critical thinking skills, with more relevant, twenty-first century content. Better yet, practical skills for modern careers and daily life are taught more directly. The path to more advanced mathematics, such as Calculus, is also preserved.



>   Model: A data science and statistics sequence becomes one available pathway during high school.

>   Lead Partner: Dana Center Mathematics Pathways / U.T. Austin Charles A. Dana Center

>   Implementation? Pilots are being developed in partner districts in Georgia, Texas, and Washington.

Program Description:

"Mathematics pathways are part of a growing national movement designed to change the way mathematics is taught in higher education. In the “pathways model,” students are placed into course sequences designed to align with their personal interests, chosen fields of study, and career goals. Historically, college–level study has required that students, regardless of their academic or career goals, adhere to standardized mathematics course sequences that may not be relevant to their needs. In fact, traditional mathematics courses have been found to be the most significant barrier to degree completion for all fields of study."


CBM: Computer-Based Mathematics

>   Model: A problem-centered, complete redesign of math curriculum that assumes computers exist.

>   Lead Partner: / Wolfram

>   Implementation? Ongoing pilot in Estonia (surprised? Read about Estonia's success in education).

Program Description:

"The CBM curriculum is unique in assuming computers by default, and so avoiding the need to learn most of the complex hand–calculation skills that were vital to our predecessors. Written from core guiding principles that firmly focus on the needs of learners for jobs and everyday life in the near future, the new curriculum is problem–centred versus the traditional mechanics–centred curriculum. Students are taught to solve problems using the tools available to them, rather than learning isolated, out–of–context skills, like completing a long division problem or calculating standard deviation."

Want to bring one of these models to your school, district, or state?

Superintendents, legislators, board members, or other policymakers, please:

(We'd be happy to help).

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