Just Equations is re-conceptualizing the role of math in ensuring equal opportunities for students in our education system. We are an independent resource on the role of mathematics in education equity, working across education systems and advancing evidence-based strategies to ensure math policies give all students the quantitative foundation they need to succeed in college and beyond.
A growing body of evidence points to the need and potential for redesigned math policies that reduce — rather than reinforce — educational inequities. At stake is not just math learning, but the broader architecture of opportunity that math requirements help shape. When educational requirements are arbitrary, outdated, or unfounded, they create barriers rather than gateways to students’ success.
We are committed to advancing math policies that are:
evidence-based with measurable metrics for success.
equity-minded to ensure college opportunity for all students.
rigorous with high-quality pathways leading to college completion.
aligned across education systems and fields to support successful transitions.
We build awareness and support for policies that promote equitable outcomes in transitions to and through college, including:
public school policies that ensure all students have a rigorous quantitative reasoning foundation that prepares them to attend and complete college.
post-secondary math readiness, admission, and transfer policies that eliminate barriers to college success.
high school and college mathematics pathways that reflect 21st century needs and are aligned with students’ academic and career aspirations.
To achieve these goals, we provide:
research and analysis to inform effective, evidence-based policy design and implementation.
strategic communications to synthesize research, highlight implementation challenges, and promote practical solutions.
convenings of stakeholders from education systems, research institutes, advocacy groups, and state agencies to build shared knowledge, vision, and commitment.
expert advice as a go-to resource on math opportunity issues for educators, organizations, state agencies, journalists, and researchers.
The foundation for Just Equations was laid over the last five years in a series of reports and related work by founder Pamela Burdman, including:
Quantitative Leap, a summit and policy brief produced by LearningWorks, and a webinar series co-hosted by LearningWorks and The Opportunity Institute, 2015-16
Degrees of Freedom, a three-part report series published by PACE and LearningWorks, 2015
Changing Equations: How Community Colleges are Re-Thinking College Readiness in Math, policy brief published by LearningWorks, 2013
Where to Begin? The Evolving Role of Placement Exams for Students Starting College, policy brief published by Jobs for the Future, 2012
Founded in 2018, Just Equations is a project of The Opportunity Institute, in partnership with LearningWorks, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), The Education Trust West, and The Campaign for College Opportunity. Just Equations is supported by the James Irvine Foundation and College Futures Foundation.
Learn more at justequations.org.