JUMP Math (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigy) begins with the premise that all children can learn math, all teachers can teach Math, and both can and should enjoy it. This Common Core-aligned Math program for Kindergarten through eighth grade provides educators with curriculum materials, assessment tools, training, and ongoing support. Originally launched in Canada, JUMP’s Math curriculum draws on cognitive science research, combining guided exercises with independent work that breaks down difficult concepts into simple, logical steps. This methodology allows students to experience the positive reinforcement they need to encourage further learning, while giving teachers the tools they need to accomplish the nearly impossible task of teaching to the entire class while tailoring lessons to individual students’ needs.
In a randomized-controlled trial in Canada, students using JUMP Math demonstrated gains in Math skills at twice the rate of students using the incumbent Math program. Manhattan Charter School, an elementary school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where 83 percent of students qualify for free lunch, was one of the first schools in New York City to adopt the program, and preliminary outcomes are positive. Early results show a significant increase in students scoring at the 3 or 4 level of the statewide Math exam: third-grade students’ improvement was from 13 to 16 percent, fourth-grade students’ improvement was from 16 to 33 percent, and fifth-grade students’ improvement was from 22 to 28 percent.
In 2016, the foundation underwrote the first rollout and test of JUMP’s program in New York City to serve 750 students at two elementary schools and one middle school in Brooklyn (P.S. 21, P.S. 9, and I.S. 285) that have underperformed in the state Math exams. Leveraging the experience of the Manhattan Charter School, this pilot will provide curricula, start-up assistance, professional development, ongoing support, and student achievement data collection and analyses (including classroom observations and collaborative feedback sessions with teachers, school coaches, and leaders). Collaborative professional development sessions for the principals of the three Brooklyn schools will support sharing of best practices.