Three East Texas educators, Betsey McCarty, Daniel Macy and Sara Macy started American Learning Labs to develop improved math and science learning materials. To date, the company has produced four math books which teach fractions, positive and negative numbers, and preparation for high school algebra. Other products under development include preschool activity, science education, and advanced math.
The poor math performance of Texas students was the original impetus for American Learning Labs. Current public school approaches to teaching math have generally failed. Research from Harvard University reported that only 34% of Texas seniors in the class of 2011 were proficient in math. Texas ranked 22nd among all U.S. states. By comparison, 75% of students in Shanghai and 60% in Singapore were proficient.
We have over 40 years of experience in education, and we know what students need in order to learn. Like Albert Einstein, we think that learning by example is the way to go, so our books contain lots of examples. In our math books, we avoid ‘math speak’, with explanations that are easy to understand, even for non-math people.
Field testing shows that with our books, most students are able to discover the patterns of mathematics on their own, with little direct instruction from the teacher. Students can work at their own pace and build a high level of independence, giving the teacher more time to work with those students who require extra help.