Math growth stagnations in the USA states for the USA’s DoE superintendents

By Dongchan Lee  (Date: March 12th, 2016)

The 23 years of math growth and stagnation trajectories of all USA’s 50 states


Source: WP (Working Paper) series of “Math Stagnation Nations” series for the USA by Lee from


The relative math poverty or proficiency shares of all USA states based on NAEP 2015 math for the grades 4 and 8

Firstly, video summary on the math stagnations in 90-95% of all USA states around 2005-2009 according to NAEP math data.

To give the overall perspective, I will share here the NAEP 2015 math data of the grades 4 and 8.

You will see that regardless of the grades 4 or 8 math, the top math state – bottom math state (except Puerto Rico) difference of the below basic share is of ~ 12-13% and that of the math proficiency share ~ 26-30% more or less.

Please remember that the MMU1 operation magnitude is to boost ~ 50 percentile (e.g. from about 25 percentile to about 75 percentile.) Even the MMU 0.5 ~ 25% boost, at least 2/3 larger than the gap between the math proficiency top state vs. that of the mid-lower end math USA states (or their math lower half districts).

Math stagnations that almost all of the USA’s DoE superintendents don’t seem to be keenly aware of.

The math growth years of most USA states ended almost a decade ago. And NAEP is one of the confirmation, let alone math results from the PISA and TIMSS past 15-20 years.

For the grade 4, you can click to see the visual data with your own eyes.

NAEP – 2015 Mathematics & Reading Assessments. Between 2005-2015, except several states although between 1992-2005 had big math growths of most of the USA states for the math grade 4 according to the Nation’s Report Card. What do all these mean? In spite of tens of billions of USD pumped in over a decade per state average in the USA, the party and champagne time is over. After the 2015 dip, the Common Core math was the major culprit, but in my analysis the dip is relatively minor. What is really happening in 90-95% of all USA states based on the current DoE operations and charters is the almost decade-old math stagnations nationwide.

Radical solution starting with MMU series

Math stagnation nation series’ online publication by Lee

If you would like to investigate my research conclusions about the math stagnations as a international, national, and 90-95% of state phenomena, you can explore at WP Series repository of “Math Stagnation Nations” series.

In conclusion, the overall historic math patterns of the most respected and long-running math assessments show that the traditional math EDU has reached its limit and it is not just DE or the USA. And the huge innovations are needed and I mentioned to you as to why the super stars of math education are absolutely necessary because neither districts, nor charter movements, nor the stars of the CMOs (Charter networks) can really advance the math proficiency much next 10-20-30 years or more.

The normal level collaboration levels of school principals or math teachers will not and cannot bring the radical changes, be it most charters or districts for the tens of thousands of the math poor students or even hundreds of thousands of them. That is why I pursue 100% online operations to shake up everyone and wake them up with the concrete data instead of muddling down the MMU series potentials with the lukewarm boring results.

Now is already mid-March. So I hope that I can run some operations of MMU1 pilot studies in some USA districts or even better if the state DoE level commitment to make things move forward faster. Most of the big city districts in the USA have enough internet access and the computer or tablet access to run the pilots for 1-2 weeks in April because late May is basically end of the academic year and districts will be too busy for the final exams. As the Common Core tests have been going on, I think the technically to operate in 1-2 larger size districts together will not be of too much of hassles because on the math themes that we agree upon, I will literally uplift the math poorest half average of the participating district(s) to the math best half average.

Even if I bring half of my goal (in the worst of the worst case scenario) by lifting the math 35 percentile to 60 percentile in 1-2 weeks of MMU pilot studies, still this is almost on par with the math proficiency difference between the best state of the USA and the bottom state like Alabama (depending on the below basic or proficiency levels). So I think this proposal has tremendous potential excite everyone although again this may make some math teachers nervous although they have no reason to be nervous. Anyway, please meditate on this and try to explore what we can do and how we may be able to achieve with the minimum hassles … preferably in April.


What data and evidences justify the claims of the MMU variations? You can start from the links here.


CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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current focus on MMU x.x series

MMU1: just to uplift the math poorest half average to the math top half average, which normally would take at least 50-100 years in the average OECD nations with almost no exceptions at least according to the PISA and TIMSS math rsults 1995-2015 (and you should know that this is a revolution, not some sort of useless reforms that have been going on in the entire developed OECD nations). To reduce the hyper-skepticism, my initial target may be reducing the math poverty by 20-30% and raising the proficiency in similar manner, which still would normally take at least 30-50+ years in at least 90% of the developed countries, their states or big cities. Current focus is on the MMU1 series as the warm-up exercises as forms of pilot studies to demonstrate the math EDU revolution is not only possible in spite of the hyper-bureaucracy of the EDU establishments that simply would not any of the most breakthrough innovations in EDU and will instead keep on playing with the furitless, fancy toys of the math EDU apps and technology.

The Fundamental Premises Of USL1 And USL

USL will use the colossal cognitive capital potentials of STEM education (especially Math at the moment), because USL can make the learning 10-50 times faster and more effective than the Business As Usual typically, to trigger the equally colossal gains in the socio-economy in exchange of their willingness of the participating governments - under a new UN-led treaty hopefully - to collectively contribute the reasonable ratios of the expected surplus gains in their economies to resolve the top global crises. Each of the governments will mostly focus on resolving their crises of course, but they have to contribute to the world communities to prosper with the sustainable growths together not at the exclusion of half of the world that is poverty-stricken. USL 1 will be the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to collectively contribute the effectively gained, USL1.0-induced surplus economy (in a sustainable manner) to resolve the most serious global crises (for all governments and the UN) based on the 5UE principles: to transition towards the resource-based, renewable energy-based, sustainable global environment and the circular economy, to help end the poverty much faster than without, while making the average people learn math and science faster and easier than prodigies. As the original USL is too fast and too disruptive (as it can literally make average people learn math and science 1,000%-50,000% times faster) to transform and people are too skeptical, we are currently focusing on only 2-5% and up to 10% at most of its capacity called USL 0.25-0.5-1.0 for the state and national governments as well as the UN.

USL1 Global Movements With Governments: 3 Steps & 3-Tier Economic Gains

STEP 1) Math Education Reform USL 0.25 at the city and USL 0.5 at the state government levels (advancing their regional average math skill levels by half a year, which normally takes 10-30 years to most of the OECD countries, in just 2-3 years). STEP 2) Math Education Reform USL 0.5 at the state government levels (advancing their regional average math skill levels by 1 year or more, which normally takes 2-5 decades to most of the OECD countries, in just 2-4 years). STEP 3) Math Education Reform USL 1 at the national government & the UN treaty levels (advancing their regional average math skill levels by 2 years or more, which (almost) never happened to virtuallly all of the OECD member countries, in just 2-5 years). For each of the following step, we will try to create local, regional, or national Social Enterprise for each government - if they are willing as the gains are tremendous potentially - to share the profits together. So the governments will have the 3-layered benefits: ... 1) USL 0.x will enrich not only the math education that helps each USL x participating regions, 2) but also to prosper together as Social Enterprise board members of the corresponding regions. 3) once the UN gets involved, then the certain portions of the massive surpluses to their local or regional economies will be properly redistributed for the global social, energy, environmental, equality and poverty causes.