Mobile, Ala. — When Mobile County Public School System was faced with the question of how best to support teachers and students in math instruction while confronting pandemic learning challenges, they knew they needed a comprehensive approach for grades K-8 that would enable student achievement and growth, provide deep support for educators, and be flexible and adaptive based on the changing landscape.
In alignment with the district’s goal of developing, supporting and retaining excellent educators, Mobile decided on an integrated approach, with a foundation of connected curriculum and professional development from learning technology company HMH. Mobile implemented the core K-8 curriculum HMH Into Math, complemented by Math 180 for intervention, Waggle for adaptive practice, the HMH Growth Measure for ongoing assessment, and HMH’s professional development services for thousands of teachers district-wide. These connected solutions are easily accessed by Mobile students and teachers through HMH’s Ed platform, which provides a unified user experience via a single-entry-point for all solutions, creating seamless integration across the district’s edtech ecosystem.
After only one year of implementing HMH’s connected solutions, Mobile is already seeing a rise in math proficiency at a time when academic recovery is top of mind, for the district and across the country. For instance, recent state test results show that the number of Mobile fifth grade students performing at or above grade level increased 14.7% between Spring 2021 and Spring 2022. Across Mobile’s 73 elementary and middle schools, the district saw a 5.7% increase in proficiency, showing clear progress and momentum.
Over 30,000 students and 2,000 teachers are using Mobile’s connected math solution, and over 99% of all students are utilizing HMH’s Ed platform, which provides personalized, rigorous, standards-aligned curriculum. The district has trained 100% of its teachers and principals on effective use of Ed and as a result, Mobile’s educators are able effectively differentiate instruction – gauging student progress through integrated data reports, aligning content to student learning needs, and pinpointing instructional needs based upon actionable data.
“Under the leadership of Superintendent Chresal Threadgill and Deputy Superintendent of Academics Dr. Lakesha Brackins, it is clear that Mobile is deeply committed to impacting learners through the design and systemic implementation of a comprehensive academic support model,” says Dr. David Bain, SVP Innovation & Analytics, HMH. “Mobile County Public Schools System is also relentlessly focused on providing teachers with the appropriate resources and professional supports to in turn have the greatest impact on student learning.”
Mobile’s vision for math instruction enables continuity and flexibility for all students, as they progress from kindergarten through eighth grade, advancing from formative mathematics skill development through mastery of more advanced concepts. Educators and students can access core instructional content from previous and future grade levels too, so they can address skill gaps, focus on prerequisite skills, and assign more challenging lessons if desired.
Mobile students are also consistently using Waggle for adaptive math practice and the HMH Growth Measure for ongoing assessment. Data from Waggle informs the Growth Measure’s actionable read-outs and reports, which are then used to drive core, supplemental and intervention instruction and inform student placement. At the start of the 2021 academic year, based on an initial Growth Measure assessment of the pandemic’s impact on student learning, Mobile expanded its number of Math 180 classrooms and trained additional educators on using the solution. This strategy was designed to support students who need to focus more intensely on foundational skills and proactively tackle challenges brought on by disrupted learning. Best-in-class intervention solution Math 180 is proven to improve math scores by 2+ years in one school year.
“At MCPSS, achieving and sustaining excellent student achievement is our first goal, and what drove our decision to create a connected approach to K-8 math instruction across our district. We selected the comprehensive HMH math solution that is rigorous, research-based and aligned to our standards, but also accessible for educators, allowing them to differentiate instruction and address all students at all levels of learning,” says Chresal Threadgill, Superintendent of Mobile County Public Schools. “The results after just one year of implementation are truly promising and we have great hope that investment in integrated, unified systems like HMH’s Ed will set students up for success throughout their academic careers and beyond.”
As a “1:1” district, Mobile has provided each student in the district with a Google Chromebook for the 2021-2022 school year and beyond, in alignment with the district’s long-time goal to enable equitable access to the most modern technologies for all students. Mobile’s connected math approach has been deployed via these digital devices, which enhance—but not replace—traditional classroom learning experiences. Students learn collaboratively through team projects with their classmates, engaging in real-world problem-solving activities. These tools are designed to empower teachers to encourage student innovation, creativity and engagement, as MCPSS students continue to become critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible digital citizens.
About Mobile County Public Schools
Mobile County Public School System is the largest school in the state of Alabama, serving over 53,000 students with 90 schools. The purpose of MCPSS is to empower and equip students to be college and career ready. Therefore, MCPSS strives to obtain success through the implementation of systematic cohesive instructional programs. To learn more about MCPSS visit www.MCPSS.com
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a learning company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 4 million educators in 150 countries. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.