Educator Perspectives: Academic Youth Development Supports Algebra for All in New York City

In the summer of 2017, the New York City Department of Education invited 11 NYC public schools to participate in a pilot of Agile Mind’s Academic Youth Development (AYD) as part of their Algebra for All Initiative. They sought to build students’ capacity as learners and strengthen their readiness for Algebra I, and to build educators’ capacity in supporting students’ social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD). The program’s success led to its expansion in the summer of 2018, when 46 NYC schools implemented AYD.

The highly positive outcomes for students and teachers across NYC prompted a decision to expand once more in summer of 2019, in both the number of schools participating and in the grade range of students served. Agile Mind developed AYD programs for upper elementary and early middle school students in New York City to develop their SEL/SEAD competencies, learning mindsets, problem-solving skills, and capacity with challenging, grade-appropriate mathematics.

Henry Encarnacion, a Curriculum Specialist with the NYC DOE who oversees the work, offered his perspectives in a recent interview. In this video, he describes how the AYD program develops competencies and mindsets in students that support the DOE’s goals for Algebra for All.

Post-program survey data from the hundreds of teachers served through the initiative show the value educators attribute to AYD in building students’ SEAD skills and mindsets for learning.

94% of teachers would recommend AYD to colleagues.

94% of teachers say that AYD improves student persistence in math.

91% of teachers believe AYD increases students’ positive beliefs and attitudes about math.

Teachers consistently report positive changes in student engagement, their mindsets and persistence in problem-solving, and in the development of a classroom culture that fosters academic success.

Learn more about how Academic Youth Development can support students and teachers in your district.