From the State Supervisor of Mathematics... Math: The Only Subject That Counts

Welcome back to school!  I sincerely hope that you enjoyed a wonderful summer full of sunny days, time with family and friends, and some time to relax and rejuvenate.  I am so fortunate to be able collaborate with Iowa educators about mathematics and how we can collectively work together.  This year, we will continue to build our networks and communities.  We know it takes a village to raise a child, but it will take a community to ensure IA students are College and Career Ready in mathematics.  As a child of poverty myself, and a first-generation college graduate, I personally know in my heart, mathematics education not only changes futures but it saves lives.

We have all heard of College and Career Ready in mathematics and that it is what we are working towards.  What does it really look like for students? Does this mean that a student graduates?  Or does it mean they attend college?  Or does it mean they can obtain gainful employment?  Yes, it means all of these and more.  

College and Career Ready in mathematics means:

  • I can attend college and not take or pay for aremedial four or five credit mathematics course that does not count towards my program or degree.
    • A student who has to take a remedial mathematics course is more likely to drop out of college.
  • I have the mathematics skills to enter a career or apprenticeship.
    • A car is unable to be fixed by tools of the past alone.  My 2014 car has a computer and can tell you how many miles I will get on a tank of gas based of my driving data from the last tank of gas.
  • I have the mathematics skills to be technically trained for jobs in the military.
    • The world is not becoming any less technical and servicemen today serve in those fields.

We have many great things happening this year.  I am most excited about how connected we are becoming as we continue to leverage technology as a community of learners.  There are so many ways for us to connect with others that are working in the same areas we are.  We can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, webinars, G+ groups, blogs, etc.  We can connect synchronously or asynchronously anytime or anywhere.   None of us should feel like we do not have a community of experts to learn from, grow with, and be challenged by.   

My Call to Action for you: Find a Community to connect to so you can have “Think Partners” to continue to learn, grow and be challenged as we continue to strive toward College and Career Readiness in Mathematics for IA students.

Join a Community Today!  Many more Communities are developing such as Principles to Actions and others will be announced through the communities below.  Anyone and anyone is welcome to join any of the ones below.  Just fill out a quick form below to get started.

Top 5 Pick (General): Form

  • This community is a great place to start and will help me add you to a community.  Fill this out to stay in the loop.

Instructional Coaches: Form

  • This community is geared toward coaches, teacher leaders (even-self identified), and anyone wanting to learn about coaching mathematics.  

Core Advocates: Form

  • This community will be learning about the SHIFTs and how they can impact instruction

I am looking forward to seeing you all at the ICTM conference on October 9, 2017!  Please stop by and introduce yourself, I would love to meet you.  I will be at the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) Booth!


April Pforts

State Supervisor of Mathematics

Iowa Department of Education

Questions or comment, feel free to email me at

Iowa Math Links

Virtual Resources