Helping students stay on track to postsecondary pathways after the pandemic requires more than remediation strategies. Traditional remediation focuses on “just-in-case” teaching of prior grade-level knowledge, with the result that many students never get to on-grade-level learning. In contrast, the corequisite model focuses on grade-level mathematics supported by research-based supports for learners, including embedded “just-in-time” instruction. For students transitioning into high school, Algebra I can serve as a gatekeeper to accessing progressively complex courses that prepare them for postsecondary education and training. Intensified Algebra (IA) is a comprehensive algebra program used in extended-time algebra classes, and is intended to help students who are one to three years behind in mathematics become successful in algebra through a corequisite model. The curriculum incorporates scaffolding and targeted interventions based on formative assessments, and supports for teachers to help them identify and respond to the students’ needs.

IA provides a robust Algebra I curriculum with embedded, efficient review and repair of foundations mathematical skills and concepts. It addresses multiple dimensions of learning mathematics, including social, affective, linguistic, and cognitive. IA uses an asset-based approach that builds on students’ strengths and helps students to develop academic skills and identities by engaging them in meaningful learning experiences.

How does the strategy create more equitable access and opportunities?

The current system of mathematics education fails to meet the needs of many of our students, and many students’ opportunities to succeed are limited by their race or economic class.

Intensified Algebra is a collaboration between the Charles A Dana Center at The University of Texas, the Learning Science Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Agile Mind that works to ensure that each student has equal access to, and successfully engages in a mathematics courses with rigorous, relevant, engaging, high-quality, and inclusive instruction that is responsive to the needs of individual students and that is informed by multiple measures of achievement that are economically and culturally inclusive. The course incorporates experiences that motivate students to re-engage in school and that help them believe they can be successful with challenging content through perseverance, effective learning strategies, and the support of their teacher and peers through a strong culture of learning in the classroom.

What outcomes or benefits are associated with the strategy?

Source: What Teachers Think About Intensified Algebra I: A Study of Teacher Experience from Inverness Research, Inc.

What are the budget implications for implementing the strategy?

This strategy requires investment in high-quality curricular materials, and may be paired with additional professional development. Intensified Algebra is a comprehensive curriculum that spirals content from 6th-8th grade while challenging students with on grade level Algebra I instruction to catch students up in one year. It costs approximately $116 per student for the first 30 students and $85 per student thereafter.

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What are the estimated costs for implementing the strategy?

  • Intensified Algebra Teacher/Class Pricing: $3499 per 30-student class (teacher included) per year
  • Intensified Algebra (Additional Students above 30 students in a school or district): $85 per student above 30 per year

How will the strategy limit significant recurring costs while ensuring long-term sustainability?

Intensified Algebra has shown the ability to greatly reduce the number of students failing Algebra I and thus reducing students needing to take costly credit recovery courses as well as decreasing the likelihood of student dropout. This strategy should help schools reduce current spending on traditional remediation tools, which may not be as effective.

What is the anticipated timeline for launching the strategy?

Summer professional learning is highly recommended for schools implementing Intensified Algebra. Students and teachers would begin using the course materials in the fall.

What internal and/or external capacity (e.g. personnel, infrastructure, training, etc.) is needed to launch the strategy? To monitor and sustain it?


  • Identify teacher(s) for the course
  • Summer professional learning for teachers
  • Identify students for the course
  • District leadership to champion the course
  • Information to parents and students about the purpose of the course
  • Execute a contract with Agile Mind for the course subscription

Monitor and Sustain

  • Professional learning for new teachers to the course
  • District leadership to monitor the effectiveness of the course
Postsecondary Education Preparation - Invest Forward
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Postsecondary Pathways - Build Momentum - Invest Forward
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What are the first 3-5 steps to take to implement the strategy?

  1. Schedule a demonstration with the Dana Center or Agile Mind of the course
  2. Execute a contract with Agile Mind for the course
  3. Register teachers for summer professional learning
  4. Schedule students into the course

What are potential challenges for implementing the strategy?

  1. Challenge: Identifying teachers in time for professional learning
    • Solution: Consider teachers with strong relationships with students and contact them over the summer
  2. Challenge: Scheduling a double-block course (typically 70-90 minutes of daily instruction)
    • Solution: Although IA is a double-block course, it helps students be successful in their future math and science classes and reduces the need for remediation. The course is interactive, and the Academic Youth Development component helps shape students’ engagement, confidence, and commitment to challenging academic programs. Teachers also report having more success with IA than other double-block math alternatives.

What are models of schools, districts, and/or organizations that are successfully implementing this strategy?

What are some additional resources for districts/states interested in implementing this strategy?

  • Agile Mind Intensified Mathematics web page
  • Dana Center Intensified Algebra web page