Responding to a state mandate, Ascension Parish took action to identify students 15 years of age or older who were at least two years behind in math achievement. In January, 2013, State Superintendent of Education John White told Ascension Parish educators their achievements serve as a model for other districts in the state.
Ascension Parish is one of the fastest growing districts in Louisiana, expanding rapidly from 20 to 28 schools. The district serves over 19,000 students, yet has changed its classroom profile from a 30:1 student-teacher ratio
to 25:1. The district represents the region’s diverse socioeconomic mix.
Responding to a state mandate, the district identified 79 students to participate in a program designed to improve math performance among its most at-risk students. After years of frustration in the classroom, many of these students lacked motivation and had a variety of social issues.
The growth in the district presented both a challenge and an opportunity. Rather than establish a new class in this rapidly growing district, a decision was made early-on to provide 79 students with an opportunity to receive additional math instruction and support within their existing schools and a familiar environment. It was determined that Think Through Math would be implemented in eight existing middle schools.
The district implemented Think Through Math and achieved three-to seven-year gains in post-program testing for 50% of at-risk students.