Mathematics Framework and Equity for English Learners

For the past three years CEEL, together with other educational, advocacy and community organizations, has advocated for equity to be a driving force in the Mathematics Framework content development, revision, and implementation planning processes. 

Curriculum frameworks provide guidance to educators, parents, and publishers, to support implementing California content standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE). Frameworks are developed by the Instructional Quality Commission, formerly known as the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission, which also reviews and recommends textbooks and other instructional materials to be adopted by the SBE. Schools in California, other states and abroad may review and use the California State Board of Education-adopted Content Standards and Curriculum Frameworks in developing their own curricula. (CDE)

During the iterative review cycles of the Mathematics Framework, CEEL, alongside a coalition of equity-oriented advocates and organizations focused on ELs, provided written and oral comments that signaled the need to include specific practices and content to ensure that mathematics instruction is accessible to all students.

Additionally, the Center for Equity for English Learners, together with Californians Together, The Education Trust-West and other education organizations, have signed on to several of the coalition letters to the Instructional Quality Commission and Mathematics CFCC Meetings and the State Board of Education.

There is a pivotal need to ensure that a robust equity lens, culturally and linguistically sustaining practices, and asset-based approaches are embedded in every chapter of the framework. Building teacher capacity, specifically in these areas, through specialized professional learning is crucial in ensuring equitable access for English Learners to the mathematical content and practices.

California continues to have wide and persistent achievement gaps on the math CAASPP for students of color, students from low-income households, English learners, and students with disabilities. For example, in 2018-19, 1 in 10 English learners met math standards compared to 4 in 10 English Only students. And less than 3 in 10 low-income students met math standards compared to nearly 6 in 10 non-low-income students. Research indicates that the most effective approach to improving outcomes for all students while closing gaps includes practices and interventions targeted to the highest level of needs.1 Targeted practices such as differentiation, universal design for learning, and scaffolding require specific implementation guidance for various student groups. We believe that the complexity and importance of these practices merit a dedicated chapter titled “Universal Access” (as it was in the 2013 Mathematics Framework) or “Equity and Access.”  (Coalition Letter to the Instructional Quality Commission Members, May 8, 2020)

ELs need specific and strategic language support to use the language of mathematics to demonstrate their thinking as they construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.  As the introduction to chapter 4 of the draft math framework states, “California schools must prepare students to be powerful users of mathematics to understand and affect their worlds, in whatever life path they embark upon.”


Read more about CEEL's leadership, key resources, and recommendations in the pages below.

HQIM Definition

CEEL leads advocacy efforts as part of The High-Quality Instructional Materials Learning Partners Coalition (HQIM-LPC).

CEEL's HQIM Selection Criteria for ML/ELs

Criteria for Selecting High Quality Instructional Materials with Considerations for Multilingual/English Learners.

Equity Resources

Resources and Links to support the implementation of specific Math strategies as highlighted in the New Framework.

Annotated Bibliography

CEEL’s Annotated bibliography: Integrated ELD & Mathematics

Featured Speaker Series

Featured Speaker series focused on math for social justice.

Math Equity Toolkit

Resources and guidance to support the development of Black, LatinX, and Multilingual students in grades 6-8.