Marilyn Burns and Scholastic Introduce “Do The Math” Arithmetic Intervention for Struggling Students

Award Winning Leader in Math Education Develops Program to Help All Students Build a Solid Foundation in Arithmetic

New York, NY (April 16, 2008) -- The statistics on mathematics education are staggering; 61% of American fourth graders and 68% of eighth graders scored at or below basic on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Mathematics test. The recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) data shows that American students ranked 14th of 24 participating countries, behind much smaller nations like Belgium and Singapore. It is clear that too many students lack the foundation of arithmetic they need to succeed in elementary school and beyond.

In response to this challenge, award-winning mathematics educator Marilyn Burns and Math Solutions Professional Development have teamed with Scholastic Education to develop Do The Math®, a math intervention program that provides students with the math help they need to build a solid foundation in arithmetic. A modular intervention program focusing on Numbers and Operations, Do The Math is designed for student in Grades 2 through 6 who are struggling to learn addition & subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions. The program aligns with the National Math Panel report, which urges schools to focus on a reduced set of essential skills, including numbers and operations.

“Arithmetic is to math what phonics is to reading, the foundational building block upon which all other skills are built. Without it, students will never be able to succeed in the higher level math and science courses they need to compete in today’s world,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic.

“Recognizing that teacher effectiveness is the single biggest factor in student achievement, we at Scholastic felt it was critical to develop a program that supports teachers as much as it helps students. Marilyn Burns has been changing the way educators think about teaching math for more than 40 years, and Do The Math brings her incredible insights and vast experience in math instruction to all teachers looking to support those kids who most need math help.”

The program helps students who struggle with math to develop the skills they need to compute with accuracy and efficiency, the number sense they need to reason, and the ability to apply their skills and reasoning to problem solving. The program is designed to complement whatever core math program already exists in a school and provides a series of 30-minute lessons for each arithmetic topic. Do The Math also provides students in need of math intervention with alternative approaches for their individual needs— ensuring that all students receive the instruction they need to establish a strong foundation in arithmetic.

“Working on Do The Math has substantially and surprisingly changed my own teaching. I am now much more explicit and intentional about the instructional choices that I make, and much more sensitive to pacing lessons to meet student needs,” said Marilyn Burns. “I break the content into manageable bite size pieces to help students—especially the students who struggle—develop the understanding and skills they need. And I keep the instructional focus on the relationships among these pieces so that students build the foundations they need for continued success with math as a whole.”

Drawing on Marilyn Burns’ 40 years of experience in the classroom, Do The Math focuses on specific concepts and skills that are essential to long-term student success, providing explicit instruction in areas where students typically struggle. Working with a team of Math Solutions master teachers, Marilyn Burns spent almost three years drafting, testing, debating and refining each lesson in the program. Drafts of lessons were taught in multiple classrooms with real students. The team then discussed what worked and what didn’t and refined lessons accordingly.

About Marilyn Burns
With more than 40 years of experience in the classroom, Marilyn Burns is one of the most highly respected mathematics educators in the world. In 1984, Marilyn formed Math Solutions Professional Development, an organization dedicated to the improvement of math instruction in Grades K-8. Working with a highly qualified team of inservice leaders, Marilyn offered specialized courses to teachers and administrators nationwide. She is the winner of the 1996 Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics for her influence on math education, received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education from the Association for Women in Mathematics, and was named one of the 20 Superstars of Education by Instructor Magazine. For more information, please visit

About Scholastic
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site,

Visit for more information on Do The Math and math intervention.

Sarah Trabucchi