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Iowa Department of Education Briefs

DE Briefs are provided by April Pforts. April serves the state as the mathematics consultant and at the national level as the State Supervisor of Mathematics.

April Pforts
Bureau of Leading, Teaching, Learning Services
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E. 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Office: (515) 314-6243

  • 1 Mar 2020 12:00 AM | Wendy Weber (Administrator)

    As we enter this time of year, many schools are considering course offerings and how best to serve our students. These blog posts may help how to consider increasing access to all students of mathematical learning and understanding.

    For questions, contact April Pforts at For additional information, visit the Q&A mathematics blog.

  • 2 Feb 2020 12:00 AM | Wendy Weber (Administrator)

    It is that time of the year! 

    At EdReports*, they’re passionate about working with and learning from districts to capture best practices for making curriculum adoption decisions. They work with districts large and small, urban and rural, all with dedicated individuals striving to ensure students thrive. 

    Three Steps to Take:

    1. Getting Started:Knowing Your Starting Point Data Inventory 

    2. Alignment First: Learn from the best practices of other districts like Newport-Mesa Unified School District

    3. Making the Most of your Math: Materials

    For questions, contact April Pforts at For additional information, visit the Q&A mathematics blog.

    *Ed Reports is an organization that evaluates resources through the lens of the Shifts in Mathematics and usability. It is a nationally recognized group that has been around since 2014 and was a result of the push from folks who are in April’s position to have a tool that evaluates alignment to the Shifts of the standards as they were intended using Focus, Coherence, and Rigor.

  • 5 Jan 2020 12:00 AM | Wendy Weber (Administrator)

    Iowa Math Chats are five-minute video clips designed to share the information Iowa educators really need to know about implementing the mathematics standards.

    • Why are cluster so important?

    • What are the different types of clusters?

    • How the standards are not new math

    • What should 85% of instructional time be spent on?

    • What are the priority standards?

    Check out Iowa Math Chats here and be sure to read the blog about how they connect to implementing the standards.

    For questions, contact April Pforts at For additional information, visit the Q&A mathematics blog.

  • 14 Dec 2019 12:00 AM | Wendy Weber (Administrator)

    The Problem?  Iowa has the highest graduation rate in the country, yet the number of students not post-secondary ready has remained flat over the last decade.

     This problem is nationally known as the Pathways Issue. There is a national conversation happening across the mathematics and mathematics education community about this and what as leaders are we going to do about this.

     Iowa has a team participating in this national conversation.

    We have been discussing:

    • Responding to the changing role of mathematics in the economy

    • Ensuring college readiness today and tomorrow. 

    • Articulating the mathematical pathways that will serve all students. 

    We have identified the Challenges. Did we miss any?  Now we need to find solutions. What is your solution?  We also want any additional information or Feedback.

     To get involved or for questions, contact April at

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