Giving Students Power Over Numbers and Power Over Learning

submission by rpalisoc
Giving Students Power Over Numbers and Power Over Learning

About Your Application

Organization(s) name(s):

Ironbox Education, Inc.

Organization(s) website(s):

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Describe Your Organization(s)

Non-profit organization

For-profit organization


Other (please specify below):

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


Ironbox Education helps students build math fluency and confidence by providing a proven system that includes classroom materials and teacher professional development, thereby giving students Power Over Numbers and Power Over Learning.

In one to three sentences, please describe your proposal.


Chronic low achievement in math has been a major barrier that has prevented Los Angeles from being considered the best place to learn. Struggling students need an effective math fluency system to build the foundation they need to succeed in higher level math, and teachers need expert training to implement effective math instruction. Ironbox Education will fill both of these needs for multiple schools in Los Angeles County by using a proven math fluency system designed by Dr. Randy Palisoc.

Where will you be working? Please be specific (e.g. Third Street Middle School; Boyle Heights; LA County).

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles (countywide)

City of Los Angeles (citywide)


Other (please specify below):

How do you plan to use these resources to make change? (check all that apply)

Conduct research

Engage residents and stakeholders

Implement a pilot or new project

Expand a pilot or program

Mobilize for systems change

Advocate with policymakers and leaders

Implement and track policy

Other (please specify below):


Build capacity of teachers and parents to promote math fluency

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics? (check all that apply)

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index* scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.


Ironbox Education was founded by Dr. Randy Palisoc, a renowned LA educator who is known for making math easy. Dr. Palisoc has been featured as a math education speaker, and a school he founded in South LA was named the #1 Urban Elementary School in America in 2013. It was also the first elementary school in South LA to ever win the National Blue Ribbon Award, which is the highest honor an American public school can earn.

However, even though the elementary school that Dr. Palisoc founded was the first in South LA to ever win such a prestigious award, Dr. Palisoc believes that it shouldn't be the only one. All schools in LA should be great places to learn, not just a few of them.

That's why Dr. Palisoc founded Ironbox Education in 2014 in order to focus on designing math fluency curriculum for schools and providing professional development for teachers. Through Ironbox Education, Dr. Palisoc has taken the lessons that have already made a difference for thousands of students and is now helping other schools in LA and around the country.

Through this grant, Ironbox Education will take this effective math fluency system and will start bringing it to scale throughout Los Angeles, thereby making LA the best place to learn.

When looking at the kindergarten through college pipeline, the foundation for math must be built early in elementary and middle school. Students who struggle in math in high school and who need remedial classes in college are the same ones who never built a strong foundation when they were younger.

Therefore, Ironbox Education will identify middle schools and the elementary schools that feed into them to implement a coordinated math fluency system that will yield long-term benefits. Students will be provided with Ironbox Education's materials, and teachers and parents will be provided with training to develop their expertise in building math fluency.

By building math fluency, which is often overlooked in schools, students will become better problem solvers, which will lead to a rise in Academic Performance Index scores. When students feel more successful and confident, then suspension, expulsion, and truancy rates will go down (Dream Metric). When these students reach high school, their math proficiency will increase, and graduation rates will rise. Those who enter college will better be able to complete their programs on time.

As leverage, the schools in this grant will become models for other schools to replicate.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.


Educational researchers explain that assessments are necessary in order to improve instruction and learning. The lessons in this math fluency system build sequentially upon each other, and each lesson serves as an assessment that needs to be successfully completed before going on to the next lesson.

To evaluate ongoing implementation, schools will track classroom-level data on the number of students who successfully complete each lesson and each unit. This will help make sure that the school and its students are progressing on schedule.

Additionally, pre-tests and post-tests will be given to see how much students have improved academically over time.

To evaluate teacher and parent expertise, surveys will be conducted after in-person trainings are held. Participants will be asked about what they learned and what support they need.

Statewide and districtwide assessments will also be used to measure academic growth.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

Other (please specify below):

2 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

"Giving Students Power Over Numbers and Power Over Learning" is excellent.
- Draco Chu, Teacher

by DracoChu
5 months ago

Yes! Learning math should always be fun for the students to learn.

by momega
6 months ago

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Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
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Submission Began
Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Submission Ended
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Voting Began
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Voting Ended
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
at 08:00 PM UTC

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Winner Announced
Tuesday, December 08, 2015