Webinar Recording - Quantitative Leap! High School Math Course-Taking and College Readiness

The Opportunity Institute and Learning Works are excited to have hosted the third webinar in a series exploring how math policies can support transitions to and through college hosted by The Opportunity Institute Fellow Pamela Burdman.

Webinar Recording - Quantitative Leap! Webinar 3: High School Math Course-Taking and College Readiness

September 21, 1:00pm-2:15pm Pacific (4:00pm-5:15pm Eastern)

Improving college readiness in math is a priority for education systems nationally. In California, about three-quarters of community college students are placed into remedial math courses, and about a third of students bound for the California State University system are not considered proficient in math upon finishing high school. African American and Latino students are disproportionately represented among these students.

High school math courses are considered an important indicator of students’ academic preparation. However, understanding this effect, measuring it, and determining its implications for college readiness policies is a complex proposition, especially given fluctuations in college placement policies and math requirements. How much math and what sort of math do students need in high school to be academically ready for college? And what is the role of high school graduation requirements, college admissions requirements, and placement policies in ensuring students have the background they need to be successful? 

Join us to learn about current research and policy discussions on the connections between high school course-taking in mathematics in readiness for college.

The Quantitative Leap series of webinars hosted by the Opportunity Institute and LearningWorks explores how mathematics policies can support the transition from high school to college. The series is designed around host Pamela Burdman’s Quantitative Leap policy brief, which recommended three strategies for improving college readiness in math:  (1) revising mathematics requirements to ensure their fairness and relevance, (2) adopting new placement policies to address the limitations of commonly-used placement exams, and (3) improving the quantity, quality, and variety of twelfth-grade mathematics courses.

The first two strategies were examined in Webinars 1 and 2, archives of which can be found here and here.

Webinar 3 explores the third: Based on existing research as well as current policy discussions, it considers the role of high school math requirements in preparing students for college.

Stay tuned for information on Webinar 4 on October 27, which will delve more specifically into senior-year transition courses, classes designed to provide a boost for students who otherwise would not be on track to be ready for college-level math.


Pamela Burdman, Education Policy Analyst; Opportunity Institute Fellow


Sonya Sedivy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Associate Scientist

Julian Betts, University of California-San Diego, Professor of Economics; San Diego Education Research Alliance Executive Director, NBER Research Associate, PPIC Adjunct Fellow

Louise Jaffe, Santa Monica College, Board of Trustees Chair, Common Assessment Initiative Steering Committee Member, Multiple Measures Advisory Board Member

David Barsky, California State University-San Marcos, Associate Professor of Mathematics; CSU Academic Preparation and Education Program Committee, Vice Chair