CHICAGO — January 31, 2011 — Last week, global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), which first introduced Singapore math to U.S. schools in 2009, welcomed math administrators from around the country to attend the first ever National Singapore Math Administrator's Symposium, in Chicago, Ill. The symposium — which had over 70 state and district math leaders, administrators and superintendents in attendance — was focused around the question: "How can we use Singapore math as a vehicle for change and improvement in U.S. mathematics achievement?"
The event featured notable leaders in mathematics education such as Dr. Yeap Ban Har from the Singapore National Institute of Education (NIE) and Marshall Cavendish Institute, Dr. Duriya Aziz of Marshall Cavendish Singapore and Dr. Steve Leinwand of American Institutes for Research (AIR), as well as Dr. Richard Bisk and Mr. Andy Clark, both U. S. consulting authors of Math in Focus. The event was highlighted by a customer panel discussion with districts that are successfully utilizing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Math in Focus: Singapore Math by Marshall Cavendish, the U.S. version of the most widely used program in Singapore.
"The experience was a game changer," said Jack R. Hayes, Director of Student Achievement at Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington, Ky. who attended the event. "It had an immediate impact on the filters through which I view my work, as I am much more attuned to kids struggling to solve problems, proving their ideas are correct, and advocating for different approaches that are also correct."
Singapore's mathematics framework was one of the key models that guided both the content and essential mathematics practices of the Common Core State Standards. The delegates examined comparison studies like the TIMSS as well as Singapore's math framework and pedagogy. With 27 states represented, administrators discussed the phenomenal success of Singapore Math in Indonesia, Netherlands, Chile, and now the U.S. These nations also partnered with Marshall Cavendish, the leading educational publisher in Singapore, to bring this world class mathematics program to their countries.
"Singapore math's resounding success can be traced to its unique pedagogy which helps students master the concrete, pictorial, and abstract," said Dr. Duriya Aziz, General Manager and Publisher, Marshall Cavendish Singapore. "What we have learned from Singapore has enabled us to form a program that has been proven to improve math scores wherever it is implemented."
Independent evaluation firm, Educational Research Institute of America (ERIA) recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of Math in Focus. The study, which observed mathematics scores from the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (ASK), concluded that after one year of using Math in Focus, students demonstrated a 12.4-point increase in average test performance.
"Math in Focus offers an intuitive progression of instruction that focuses on fewer topics at greater depth to help students better grasp critical math topics," said Scott Bowker, Senior Vice President, General Manager of the Specialized Curriculum Group at HMH. "Studies such as ERIA's prove that Singapore's math program can be implemented here in the U.S. and have excellent results."
After partnering with Marshall Cavendish-Singapore, HMH's program has been extended to reach grades K–6, with grades 7 and 8 due out in fall 2012. For more information about Math in Focus, visit: www.hmheducation.com/mathinfocus or contact the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Specialized Curriculum Group.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company that is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. The world's largest provider of educational products and solutions for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt develops and delivers interactive, results-driven learning solutions that advance teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Through curricula excellence and technology innovation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students. Today, HMH education products and services are used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries. With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit www.hmhpub.com.