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$10 Million Research Grant Targets Middle School Math

The federal Institute of Education Sciences has just awarded $10 million to launch a new research and development center focused on improving math instruction for middle schoolers.

The emphasis will be on students who have problems with math concepts, specifically fractions, according to a June 23 press release from the University of Delaware, where the new center will be housed.

"Research is showing that students have a lot of problems understanding rational numbers," Nancy C. Jordan, a professor of education at the University of Delaware, said in the news release. "Fractions are very important for learning algebra, which is considered a gateway skill for success in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines."

Ms. Jordan, along with Lynn Fuchs, a professor of special education at Vanderbilt University, and Robert Siegler, a professor of cognitive psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, are the principal investigators for the new research and development effort. They will collaborate with local school districts surrounding the three universities to conduct research and collect data, and then use that to develop intervention programs for students.

The grant from the IES, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, will fund the center for five years. The project will begin in September.

Although the University of Delaware press release describing the grant is not available online, you can get more details by reading this item in UDaily, a publication from the university.

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