The Math Corps stands on the following two basic principles:
In practice, students come to understand that the rigorous demands placed on them – in terms of things like attendance, homework and behavior – and the extraordinary achievements expected of them, are all simply reflections of a program that totally cares about and believes in them.
Most importantly, the Math Corps offers students a powerful vision of the world, dramatically different from the harsh reality many see every day growing up in Detroit and other cities. Beginning with the overriding message to “Be Yourself!” – as we all have greatness within us – the Math Corps teaches the values of kindness, integrity, and courage, while asking no less of middle and high school kids than to change the world – while showing every day, in every way, that we believe they can do it.
The Math Corps is based on the simple philosophy that everything begins with loving and believing in kids. A unique set of principles and practices provide every child with the confidence to be themselves, a caring “second family” and a supportive community built on the values of kindness and integrity. All of this occurs within the context of high school students mentoring middle school students, college students mentoring the high school and younger students, and senior staff mentoring all. Combined with the Math Corps’ own revolutionary K-12 curriculum, which transforms all of arithmetic and algebraic into completely learnable and simple subjects, these strategies have produced dramatic results year after year—as measured by pre- and post-test scores, ACT scores, high school graduation rates, college enrollment, and more.
The Math Corps’ success rests in the power of mentorship and the influence of role models: between middle and high school students, between high school and college students, and between college students and senior staff. This powerful “cascade of role models” creates an aspirational culture in which students develop a vision of their futures that they might not have been able to imagine otherwise.