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We’re Counting on you to Support our Rise: Department of Mathematics

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) saw historical gains on its MSTEP results reflecting the work performed in the 2022-23 school year emerging from the pandemic into recovery and return to the reform work.

The Department of Mathematics is committed to improving mathematics teaching and learning. And the scores reflect their commitment to our students outstanding academic achievement.

In Grades 3-8 Math, DPSCD's improvement over 2021-22 was twice that of the state of Michigan and is much closer to full recovery to 2018-19 than the State. Proficiency levels improved 2.5 percentage points in M-STEP/P-SAT Mathematics Grade 3-8 to 9.0 percent compared to 6.5 percent. The State declined 4.2 percentage points in 2021-22, recovering only 1.2 percentage points in 2022-23.

Record High 11th grade performances: 11th grade college and career readiness rates improved in both SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and SAT Mathematics that exceed both 2018-19 and 2021-22, while the State stagnated compared to 2021-22 and is significantly below 2018-19 performance levels.

The Mathematics Department supports educators, staff, students, and families in numerous ways in alignment with the District’s priorities, and with a mission to empower teachers to deliver high-quality instruction utilizing standards-based curriculum.  

“We have a team of 16, including myself, that provide support for the District’s Mathematics work,” said Tony Hawk, Executive Director of K-12 Mathematics, DPSCD. “The Office of Mathematics is committed to ensuring that every classroom has access to a high-quality mathematics curriculum. The mathematics curriculum is fully aligned to state standards, detailing what students are expected to learn and be able to perform at the end of each grade level or course.”

The districtwide Mathematics curriculum provides leadership, ensures mathematical competence and confidence in students, encourages mathematics-rich classroom environments, and promotes rigor, relevance, and relationships in mathematics classrooms.

Hawk credits his team members and the District’s teachers with providing the resources needed to meet these goals.

“We work hard. The work is tireless, it is difficult, and we are faced with challenges that are very dynamic and not one student has the same needs,” said Hawk. “However, we are built strong to do this work, lean in, and show up to do the work and help our students be better, to aspire and to grow beyond their last achievement or challenge. I think there is no greater joy for me and our team of math practitioners to go in-depth and help our students realize their ultimate potential.”

Beyond the standard Mathematics curriculum and lessons that are taught throughout the District, the Department of Mathematics works to aid students to not only become critical and flexible thinkers, but also to have the tools to equip themselves to be able to succeed in an ever-changing and expanding world where citizens are needed to take things, unpack them and find solutions that may not readily expose themselves.

“Regardless of circumstance, regardless of challenge, we accept students as they are, as they come to us. Through our activity, support, and how we show up every day, we help them face the challenges. We help them rise to whatever they want to accomplish,” said Hawk. "We also give them a vision of what is possible and give them a glimpse of what their future could be. Giving them the ability to be critical and flexible thinkers when it comes to Mathematics.”

Hawk said look in any DPSCD classroom to see the magic of learning happening. 

More information on DPSCD’s Department of Mathematics can be found here.