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Case Study: 6% Increase In Math SPED Pass Rates… in one semester? Yes, please!

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

It’s natural to wonder, “is this experience going to be worth my time and money?” Especially math professional development. You might be hesitant about an independent math consultant who claims to help teachers working with students who struggle.

… What results is she really seeing?

You’re in the right place!

This post is a deep dive into one of my clients, East Side Union High School District in East San Jose, CA.


  • 29,000 students

  • 13 high schools

  • Urban setting

  • 2,800 special education students

  • 54% free reduced lunch

Scope of Work

  • Professional Development: Each year of collaboration, I planned and facilitated 10 sessions of professional development to district special education math teachers spaced throughout the year to cover the topics immediately before teachers would be teaching the content to their students. This allowed teachers to practice the mathematics themselves and learn strategies to increase student engagement.

  • Instructional Coaching: Each visit (typically 5 per year) I would spend one full day observing and meeting with special education math teachers across the district, focusing on first year or new to the district teachers. During the pandemic, this was all conducted virtually.

  • Math leadership coaching: I conducted a weekly virtual meeting with district math leadership to set goals and work collaboratively towards supporting the special education math teachers.

  • Scope & Sequence creation: In collaboration with district math leaders we developed and fine tuned a scope & sequence, resources, and pacing calendar for special education math teachers.


As this was a large scope of work, I have qualitative and quantitative data…

Student Results

  • In my first year of work supporting ESUHSD (2018) students passing the special education math class rose from 75% to 81% from first to second semester, a 6% increase!

  • The virtual support I provided for special ed math teachers in 2020 after the pandemic shut down schools helped pass rates increase 4% from semester 1 (Dec 2019) to semester 2 (May 2020)

Teacher Outcomes

Survey results conducted at the end of the school year showed that teachers who attend my PD are seeing a positive impact in the classroom:

  • 100% of special education math teachers felt the workshops we provided increased their confidence in the mathematics content

  • 81% felt the content and strategies they learned at the workshops increased student achievement in their classrooms

  • 100% of teachers reported using strategies they learned in the workshops in their classrooms

Next steps

Could your whole department or district use this kind of support? Contact me today and let’s come up with a customized plan for your unique needs.

Want a copy of my Math Achievement Framework for Administrators?

Click here to download my C.A.R.E.S. Math Achievement Framework so you can assess if we're on the same page about mathematics instruction and get an activity to use immediately with your staff!

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