High School Math Pathways

Table of Contents

Application Process for the 2024-2025 School Year 

The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce in partnership with the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) is expanding the High School Mathematics Pathways Initiative to support more districts for the 2024-2025 school year. The application window is open from Wed., Nov. 29-Dec. 22. Each of these courses can count toward a student’s third or fourth unit of mathematics and can be used to satisfy the Algebra 2 equivalent credit requirement for graduation.

Applications must be completed online. The online form is editable so applicants may revise answers after submitting. A read-only PDF version of each application is available for planning purposes only.

High School Mathematics Pathways Symposium

Ohio is launching a Strengthening Ohio High School Mathematics Pathways Initiative this fall to be implemented in the 2022-2023 school year. This initiative addresses new guidance around what courses can be considered Algebra 2 equivalent and how the new pathways lead to postsecondary success. The new pathways were designed with a focus on equity, rigor, relevance, coherence and flexibility. 

To launch this initiative, Ohio hosted a virtual symposium on Nov. 9 and 10. The symposium featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions, an overview of the initiative, and sessions providing a description of each of the available courses in mathematics pathways. The intended audience for the symposium is: 

  • Parents, guardians and caregivers of middle school and high school students; 
  • High school and middle school mathematics teachers, counselors and administrators;
  • Higher education admissions, advisors and math faculty.


Session materials will be posted as they become available. 

Note: Not all sessions were recorded.

Contact hours:

Contact hours will be provided for the virtual symposium. Certificates of attendance will be sent out after the event. Exit survey required.

Exit survey:

Exit survey was provided at the end of the virtual symposium on Wednesday Nov. 10, for participants who wanted to leave comments, learn more information and obtain certificates of attendance.

High SChool Mathematics Pathways Symposium Opening sessions 

Overview of the High School Math Pathways

An overview of the High School Math Pathways Initiative.
  • Presenter: Anna Cannelongo, Education Program Specialist at the Ohio Department of Education  
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High School Mathematics Pathways Symposium Keynote and featured Speaker Biographies and session materials

Keynote: New Challenges and New Opportunities: Taking Stock of National Progress in Modernizing Mathematics Pathways,  Michael D. Steele, EdD, Immediate Past President of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators

Michael Steele shares insights from the national landscape of mathematics modernization efforts. Using Ohio’s launch efforts as a foundation, he shares three important aspects of the Systemic Change in Mathematics framework for mathematics teachers, district leaders, mathematics teacher educators and state mathematics officials to consider as they move toward the implementation of modernized mathematics pathways.

Michael D. Steele, Ed.D., is a mathematics education researcher focused on teacher knowledge and teacher learning in secondary mathematics. He is currently a program officer at the National Science Foundation, the Immediate Past President of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and a member of the Executive Council of the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences. He has directed the secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Michigan State University. A former middle and high school mathematics and science teacher, Dr. Steele has authored dozens of books and journal articles focused on mathematics teacher learning, including NCTM’s Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices in Grades 6-8, The 5 Practices in Practice: Successfully Orchestrating Mathematics Discussions in Your High School Classroom, and A Quiet Revolution: One District’s Story of Radical Curricular Change in Mathematics.
  • Presenter: Michael D. Steele, EdD, Immediate Past President of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators

Keynote: Equity and the Math Pathways, Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D., Managing Director of The University of Texas at Austin Charles A. Dana Center

In a changing world, access to high-quality mathematics content is more important than ever. Watch this interactive discussion to learn important ideas about how to ensure equity is central in the implementation of math pathways.

Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D., joined the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin as managing director in May 2021. She previously served as the executive director of The Education Trust—West, a national research and advocacy nonprofit organization committed to educational justice for students of color, students from low-income communities, and English learners.
Throughout her more than 20 years of research and advocacy, Elisha has worked for and partnered with many organizations, including the Careers Ladder Project, the Hewlett Foundation, Mathematica Policy Research, and College Bound. She has served on numerous committees, boards, and taskforces—among them Google’s Equitable Artificial Intelligence Research Roundtable, University of California’s Provost Advisory Council on Educational Equity, California State University’s Steering Committee on Academic Preparation and Quantitative Reasoning, University of California’s Test Feasibility Study Steering Committee, and the Launch Years Consensus Panel. Elisha was also appointed cochair of the California Department of Education’s Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative.
Elisha holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Smith College and an M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland at College Park. She was the third Black person to graduate with a Ph.D. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.
  • Presenter: Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D., Managing Director of The University of Texas at Austin Charles A. Dana Center

Featuring: Recruiting Underrepresented Populations into STEM, Charles Bowman, Ph.D., Curriculum and Equity Manager for the Mind Research Institute

Charles Bowman focuses on the underrepresentation of Black, Brown, and Indigenous students in STEM pathways. In this session, he discusses the importance of highlighting cultural relevance and increasing cultural representation to entice marginalized students. Additionally, he addresses practices that create barriers for students to envision success.

Charles Bowman, Ph.D. is a diversity, equity, and inclusion advocate and ally for the marginalized. He is a former high school and college mathematics educator. His lived experience as an underrepresented black male in education has equipped him to see through a lens that has led him to have insight into instructional pedagogy that reaches black and brown learners that have been overlooked in traditional math classrooms. This lens and lived experience have dismantled stereotypes and provided a voice of change within the classroom that has benefited all students. Dr. Bowman believes culturally relevant practices are paramount for bridging the gap in math education. Further, culturally relevant practices are needed for complete engagement that will highlight the brilliance of students of color.  He has served in several DEI roles for Kent City Schools and the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM). Dr. Bowman currently serves as the Curriculum and Equity Manager for MIND Research Institute.  Dr. Bowman holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. 

  • Presenter: Charles Bowman, Ph.D., Curriculum and Equity Manager for the Mind Research Institute

Featuring: High Quality Instructional Materials and the Math Pathways, Chandra Boone, Associate Director of State Partnerships at Instruction Partners and Erika Cook, Managing Director at Instruction Partners
How do High-Quality Instructional Materials (HQIM) fit into Ohio High School Mathematics Pathways? In this session, participants learn the criteria for HQIM and analyze a task example and non-example. Finally, participants are introduced to the Ohio Curriculum Support Guide, a tool to help educators select and implement HQIM. 

Chandra Boone, Associate Director of State Partnerships at Instruction Partners
At Instruction Partners, Chandra delivers service centers and designs state service frameworks and solutions for K-12 mathematics. Previously, Chandra served as the Founding Director of Secondary Mathematics for the Arkansas Academy for Educational Equity with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In this role, she guided the development of teachers in areas of culturally responsive pedagogy and content as a way of addressing educational inequities within the state of Arkansas. Prior to this role, Chandra worked as a Secondary Mathematics Instructional Coordinator for Dallas Independent School District where she supported secondary math teachers with obtaining consistent gains on the math component of STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness). During her time in Texas, she also worked as a classroom teacher, campus based instructional coach, and professional development specialist.

Chandra holds a M.ED in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, a B.S in Physics from Lane College, and is currently pursuing an Ed.S in Curriculum and instruction from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Erika Cook, Managing Director at Instruction Partners
Before joining Instruction Partners, Erika served as the Bureau Chief for Leading, Teaching, Learning Services at the Iowa Department of Education. In that role, her team emphasized making grade-level standards accessible and relevant to all students. Prior to that, Erika was a district and building administrator in Iowa and Illinois, and a manager for the College Board. As a leader, she empowered educators and leveraged her responsibilities to increase student achievement. She loved her many years of teaching and will forever adore her social studies and world language students. Fueling her passion for international understanding, she has been a Fulbright, Aramco, Goethe, and Freeman grantee. In addition, she enjoys volunteering on the Fulbright Board and Sister Cities Commission.

  • Presenters: Chandra Boone, Associate Director of State Partnerships at Instruction Partners and Erika Cook, Managing Director at Instruction Partners

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Algebra 2 Equivalent Course Sessions 

Advanced Quantitative Reasoning 
The Quantitative Reasoning Workgroup gives an overview of the course/pathway, shares the standards document and discusses the current Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning pilot.  
Algebra 2
The Algebra 2 Workgroup gives an overview of the updates to the course/pathway, shares the standards document and discusses how this pathway can now truly focus on preparing students for Calculus-based STEM careers/majors.
  • Presenters: Margie Coleman, Kings Local Schools; Steve Hiner, Columbus City Schools; Scott Reveal, Cincinnati Public Schools; and Lee Wayand, Columbus State Community College.

Data Science Foundations 
The Data Science Foundations Workgroup gives an overview of the course/pathway, shares the standards document and discusses the current Data Science Foundations pilot.
  • Presenter: Lauren Burke, Women in Analytics; Brett Doudican, Greene County Career Center; Maureen Malinowski, Olentangy Local Schools; and Sandra Wilder, Akron Public Schools

Discrete Mathematics/Computer Science 
The Discrete Math/Computer Science Workgroup gives an overview of the course/pathway and highlights some of the course curriculum that is being developed for next year’s pilot. .
  • Presenter: Dr. Chris Orban, The Ohio State University; Carol Van Fossen, Metro Early College High School; and John Wiseman, Ohio Department of Education

Statistics and Probability 
The Statistics and Probability Workgroup gives an overview of the course/pathway, shares the standards document and discusses how this pathway leads to other statistics-based follow-on courses.
  • Presenters: Idrissa Aidara, Cuyahoga Community College; Laina Makepeace, Medina City Schools; and Angela Sanor; St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
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Math Pathways Symposium General Sessions 

Integrating Courses to Promote Calculus Based STEM Pathway
Now that students have options, Algebra 2 can do what it was truly designed to do—prepare students for the Calculus-based STEM pathway. Angela Sanor and Robert Engels from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School discuss how they are integrating Algebra 2 and Physics at their school to promote the Calculus-based STEM pathway.
  • Presenters: Angela Sanor and Robert Engels from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

Higher Education Admissions Discussion
Representatives from admissions offices at Ohio’s institutions of higher education come together to discuss the high school math pathways and how they impact their institutions. Resources posted on the Ohio Department of Education’s website also will be highlighted. 
  • Presenter: Mark Cortez, The Ohio State University, Admissions

Higher Education Advisors and 6-12 Counselors Discussion
Higher education advisers and middle and high school counselors come together to discuss the high school math pathways. Resources in the counselor’s toolkit to aid implementation will be showcased. 
  • Presenter: Shawn Grime, Ohio High School Counselor Association

6-12 Administrators Discussion
Middle and high school administrators come together to discuss the high school math pathways. Resources in the administrator’s toolkit to aid implementation will be highlighted. There is also a panel of administrators from districts who already have been working toward implementing the math pathways.
  • Presenters: Brad Ritchey, Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA)/Ohio School Boards Association. Panel members include Jennifer Bohach, Switzerland of Ohio Local Schools; Ruth Hotchkiss, Akron Public Schools; and Andrew Wheatley, Lakota Local Schools.

Middle School, High School and Higher Education Math Faculty Discussion
Higher education, middle school and high school math faculty come together to discuss the high school math pathways. Resources in the teacher’s toolkit to aid implementation will be showcased. 
  • Presenters: Peggy Kasten, Ohio Math and Science Coalition and Heather Wukelich, Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Parents Discussion
A discussion takes place about how parents can help their children figure out what pathway is best for them. Resources in the parent’s toolkit will be highlighted.
  • Presenters: Brian Bickley, Ohio Department of Education and Barbara Varley, Ohio Parent Teacher Association

Teacher Panel 
Teachers from the Data Science Foundations and the Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning: An Advanced Quantitative Reasoning course pilots share their experiences in the pilots thus far. 
  • Presenters: Brian Roget, Associate Director at the Ohio Department of Education, with Data Science Foundations teacher panelists: Michael Bradac, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School; Maureen Malinowski, Olentangy High School; and Tricia Mencin, Bedford High School. Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning teacher panelists: Jennifer Brown, Bedford High School and Matt Smallwood, Goshen High School

Connecting Math Pathways to In-Demand Careers
Kevin Duff from Ohio Excels leads a panel that discusses how the skills in the new mathematics pathways courses relate to careers.
  • Presenters: Kevin Duff, Ohio Excels, with panelists Lauren Burke, CoverMyMeds and Women in Analytics; Courtney Falato, JP Morgan Chase; Nick Lennon, Kroger Data Analytics Firm; Jessica Marshall, Nurse Case Manager; and Rodney Null, Rhodes State College

Math Pathways and Middle School
What can we do in middle school to prepare and support our students so they can make “educated” choices for their futures?
  • Presenter: Annika Moore, Ohio Department of Education

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Changing Landscape In Careers

There continues to be a growing and evolving demand for workers in certain career fields that require a high level of math proficiency. Students (even those pursuing STEM) who take a statistics or data science course instead of an Algebra 2 or College Algebra course may be better prepared for 21st century careers (Burdman, 2019). Although students benefit from the thinking and reasoning skills present in an Algebra 2 course, the actual content of an Algebra 2 course is often largely irrelevant to many students’ future careers. The only students who require a mastery of Algebra 2 content are those who need to proceed to and succeed in Calculus. 
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Changing Landscape at Higher Education

College Algebra traditionally has been the default math class for most students. Unfortunately, not only is College Algebra irrelevant for many students, it also has served as the mathematical gatekeeper, creating an access and equity issue (Charles A. Dana Center, 2019, The Launch Years). Only 50% of students pass College Algebra and fewer than 10% of students who pass it take Calculus (Gordon, 2008). In fact, “80% of students do not need an algebra-intensive curriculum, nor calculus, to succeed in their degree programs” (Gordon, 2008). Too often, students who enter the cycle of math remediation in college drop out before making it to their first credit-bearing math course (Charles A. Dana Center, 2019, The Launch Years). This particularly affects low-income, Black and Latino students (Jimenez, 2016; EdSource, 2012; Burdman, 2018). 
As part of Ohio’s Rethinking Postsecondary Mathematics initiative, the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) partnered with higher education mathematics department chairs across the state to develop entry-level, appropriate and relevant college math courses that are more directly aligned to specific majors. This represents a shift from the traditional “College Algebra for all” mindset (Ohio Math Initiative, 2014). Although this is a positive shift, there now is a lack of coherence between high school and higher education relative to mathematics curriculum and expectations. See the Transitions to High School to College Math webpage for more information about work being done at Ohio’s higher education institutions.
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Algebra 2 Requirements Thwart High School Success

Algebra expectations at the collegiate level parallel what is happening at the high school level. For many students Algebra 2 is an unnecessary barrier; this is especially true in Ohio where Algebra 2 is a graduation requirement. Of all the students who did not graduate high school in Ohio, 94.2% of those students did not earn credit in Algebra 2/Math 3. In contrast, quantitative literacy skills, skills in data analytics and skills in computer science are increasingly in demand in the workplace (Charles A. Dana Center, 2019, The Launch Years).
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Proposed Solution

Algebra 2 tries to serve two purposes simultaneously: a graduation requirement and preparation for precalculus; it does neither well. Forming alternative pathways stemming from relevant Algebra 2 equivalent (A2E) courses will help improve student achievement in mathematics and better prepare high school students by creating coherence between high school and college and careers. This will improve Ohio’s and the nation’s economic competitiveness by improving and expanding STEM learning and engagement.
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Several groups have been formed to explore this issue: 1) an advisory council, made up of representatives from a variety of education organizations; and 2) the Math Pathways Architects, made up of higher education and high school math faculty. The advisory council is focusing on equity, communication and supports surrounding systems and structures. The Math Pathways Architects are focusing on aligning the math pathways between high school and college and career.
Three courses are being piloted as part of this initiative: Quantitative Reasoning, Data Science Foundations and Discrete Math/Computer Science.


Five proposed math pathways were proposed stemming from Algebra 2 Equivalency courses: Quantitative Reasoning, Data Science Foundations, Statistics and Probability, Computer Science/Discrete Math and the traditional Algebra 2 to Calculus pathway.

Ohio's High School Math Pathways graphic
The number of pathways offered may vary by district, but districts are encouraged to offer one additional pathway besides the Algebra 2 to Calculus pathway. Student should choose which math courses they take based on their future career aspirations.
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Strengthening High School Mathematics Pathways Initiative Courses

Ohio launched the Strengthening High School Mathematics Pathways Initiative High School Mathematics Pathways webpage for more information on the Pathways Initiative.
Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, all Ohio districts can use credit earned in courses such as Advanced Quantitative Reasoning (or Mathematical Modeling and Reasoning), Data Science Foundations, Discrete Mathematics/Computer Science, and/or Statistics and Probability to satisfy the Algebra 2 curriculum requirement for high school graduation purposes. Districts are encouraged to offer at least one additional pathway besides the Algebra 2 to Calculus but are not required.
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Participants in Initiative

Advisory Council

Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT)
Higher Education Admissions Ohio Math and Science Coalition (OMSC)
Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (Ohio ACTE) Ohio Mathematics Initiative (OMI)
Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) Ohio Parent Teacher Association (Ohio PTA)
Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators (OASSA) Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA)
Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM) Ohio School Counselor Association (OSCA)
Ohio Education Association (OEA) The Ohio 8 Coalition
Ohio Excels Rural Stakeholders

Math Pathways Architects

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Perrysburg Exempted Village School District
Columbus State Community College Putnam County Educational Service Center
Cuyahoga Community College Shawnee State University
Edison Local School District (Jefferson) Symmes Valley Local School District
Kettering City School District The Ohio State University
Medina City Schools Toledo Public Schools
Miami Valley Career Technology Center Wayne Local School District
New Lexington City Schools  


Akron Public Schools Mississinawa Valley Local Schools
Alexander Local Schools Miami University of Ohio
Beachwood City Schools North Canton City Schools
Campbell City Schools North Central Local School District
Central State University North Union Local Schools
Cleveland Municipal School District Olmsted Falls City Schools
Columbus Academy Ohio University
Columbus State Community College Ottawa-Glandorf Local Schools
Cuyahoga Community College Rhodes State College
Forest Hills Local School District Shawnee State University
Greene Career Center Sinclair Community College
Green-Local (Wayne) Symmes Valley Local School District
Hamilton County Educational Service Center Tallmadge City School District
Hillsdale Local School District The Ohio State University
Hubbard Exempted Village School District Toledo Public Schools
Kenston Local Schools Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School
Kent State University Worthington City Schools
Kings Local Schools We Can {Code} IT
Manchester Local School District (Summit)  


  • The Advisory Council, Math Pathways Architects and course-specific workgroup meet to align systems, structures, and mathematics and to create course guidance.
  • Proposed courses are piloted.
  • High School Math Pathways Proposal is launched on Department Website with implementation information. 
  •  Virtual High School Mathematics Pathways Symposium
  • Schools implement math pathways that focus on Algebra 2-equivalent courses.


Burdman, P. (2019, June 27). Re-thinking the role of Algebra 2 in college readiness. Just Equations. Retrieved from https://justequations.org/news/rethinking-the-role-of-algebra-two/.

Burdman, P. (November 2018). The Mathematics of opportunity: Rethinking the role of math in educational equity. Just Equations. Retrieved from https://justequations.org/wp-content/uploads/je-report-r12-web.pdf.  

Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. (2020). Launch Years: A new vision for the transition from high school to postsecondary mathematics. Austin, TX: Author. Retrieved from https://www.utdanacenter.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/Launch-Years-A-New-Vision-report-March-2020.pdf.

Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. (2019). Launch Years: The case for mathematics pathways. Austin, TX: Author. Retrieved from https://dcmathpathways.org/sites/default/files/resources/2019-03/CaseforMathPathways_20190313.pdf.

Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. (2018). Prevalence of students changing to STEM majors: Implications for mathematics pathways. Retrieved from https://dcmathpathways.org/sites/default/files/resources/2018-01/STEM-transfers-brief%5B1%5D.pdf.

Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin. (2015). A call to action to expand access to statistics. Retrieved from https://dcmathpathways.org/sites/default/files/resources/2017-05/Call%20to%20Action%20to%20Expand%20Access%20to%20Statistics.pdf.

Daro, P. & Asturias, H. (2019). Branching Out: Designing high school math pathways for equity. Just Equations. Retrieved from https://justequations.org/wp-content/uploads/Just-Equations-2019-Report-Branching-Out-Digital.pdf.

EdSource. (2012, February). Passing when it counts: Math courses present barriers to student success in California community colleges. Retrieved from https://edsource.org/wp-content/publications/pub12-Math2012Final.pdf.

Gordon, S. P. (2008). What’s wrong with College Algebra? Primus, 18(6), 516–541. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10511970701598752.

Jimenez, L., Sargrad, S., Morales, J., & Thompson, M. (2016, September 28). Remedial education: The cost of catching up. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2016/09/28/144000/remedial-education/.

Ohio Mathematics Initiative. (2014, March). Rethinking postsecondary mathematics: Final report of the Ohio Mathematics Steering Committee. Retrieved from https://ojs.library.osu.edu/index.php/OJSM/article/view/8489​ 

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Last Modified: 4/2/2024 9:21:26 AM