A new four-year study hopes to figure out what it takes to get middle school students ready for algebra.
Denver-based Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning along with the University of Southern Mississippi received a $1.9 million Institute of Education Sciences grant to find an answer, which they say doesn't currently exist.
The study will involve 40 rural schools primarily in southern Mississippi, and it will look at the effect of a program, Every Day Counts: Algebra Readiness, to prepare seventh graders for algebra.
Their aim is to see whether this program helps these students, and to determine what factors lead to greater algebra readiness.
Mississippi requires students to pass Algebra I in order to graduate, and it has the largest achievement gap in the nation between rural and non-rural eighth graders, according to the McREL, which is a private education research and development corporation.