Robert Moses: Math Maven
Credit: Thomas Reis
More to Explore:
The Algebra Project
(PBS Online Newshour interview)
The founder and president of the Algebra Project, Robert Moses is still teaching, traveling, and spreading math literacy to poor and minority youth. After teaching algebra and geometry at Lanier High School, in Jackson, Mississippi, for a decade, he moved on to the struggling Edison High School, in Liberty City, Florida, to inspire a second cohort, a group of dedicated ninth graders taking math for ninety minutes every day through all four years of high school. (The first cohort he and the Algebra Project followed graduated from Lanier High School in 2006.)
"We're trying to see what kind of intervention can really help at the bottom" of the public-education food chain, he says. "These are the kids that we want to work with."
The organization is also expanding across the nation through policy initiatives, conferences, and other endeavors that aim to make the math education of disadvantaged youth a topic of national discussion. The Young People's Project, an offshoot of the Algebra Project that brings young role models into schools as math-literacy workers, is thriving as well. After winning a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, the group (mostly made up of Algebra Project alumni) successfully trained sixty high school and college students last summer to teach underserved middle and elementary students, and is trying out its second season this spring in the Chicago area.
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