RELEASE: Implementing High-Quality Math Pathways Could Improve College and Career Readiness

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new report looking at how implementing high-quality, evidence-backed math pathways can better prepare students for college and/or career upon graduation. The report outlines how these pathways can offer students faster access to credit-bearing college math courses; reduce inequities in remediation rates for Black and Latinx students; and allow for effective design and instruction of math content, curricula, and courses.

To get a rigorous understanding of the challenges and opportunities for implementing math pathways, the authors interviewed a dozen key actors—specifically, practitioners and administrators—and national organizations that assist in math pathways development and implementation at the university and state levels. The report identified the following themes among those that have successfully implemented math pathways programs:

  • Effective design of math courses in grades K-12 and at the postsecondary level has shown increased academic proficiency and success in postsecondary courses.
  • Reducing disparities in Black and Latinx students’ placement in postsecondary remediation could address a persistent achievement gap.
  • Faster access to credit-bearing courses through a method such as corequisite remediation increases math proficiency and reduces students’ failure rates in traditional, prerequisite remediation courses.

The report also includes recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to successfully implement and scale math pathways, including the following:

  • Federal policymakers should scale federal funding to support professional development in math instruction and tie access to federal student aid funds to reporting better data about students in remedial programs.
  • States should create an accountable body to implement math pathways, support teacher professional development for math instruction, and employ evidence-based reform strategies.
  • Districts and colleges should partner to develop local math pathways programs in order to ensure that courses are rigorous and confer academic credit.

“High-quality math pathways can limit remediation, increase proficiency, reduce racial disparities, and better support students for life after high school,” said Ashley Jeffrey, policy analyst for K-12 Education at CAP.

“As more jobs require postsecondary education or training, policymakers and practitioners should prioritize supporting implementation and scaling of math pathways to ensure students are ready for new challenges facing the workforce,” said Laura Jimenez, director of standards and accountability at CAP.

Please click here to read “Math Pathways: The Way Forward” by Ashley Jeffrey and Laura Jimenez.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.