A 2014 report released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that the racial gap for math and reading among white and Black high school seniors has held steady for the last three years. According to the report, Black students scored 30 points lower than their white counterparts in math.
A study conducted by a team from the University of Chicago will try to close the educational gap by starting with elementary school students. Psychology professor Sian L. Beilock talked to NPR about the team’s research. The team used a variety of students from all over Chicago. The 600 students were then divided into two groups. The first group utilized a new math app called Bedtime Math and the other served as a control group that were given a reading app without any math problems.
The first graders that used the Bedtime Math App were read stories that required them to answer math problems with their parents. This group ended up three months ahead of the control group in regards to mathematical achievement.
The app gives parents and their children a chance to talk about math in a comfortable and relaxed way. Beilock believes that parents are just as uncomfortable about math as their kids are. In fact, she believes that some teachers may have quirks about teaching it, which ultimately affects their students. The no frills app gets to the point, and that may be a major factor in closing the math achievement gap at home and in school.
Bedtime Math is available on Apple products and Android.