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Teachers Network Leadership Institute:
Fair Share for Our Schools: A Multidisciplinary Curriculum: Studying the Data of the Six Regions in New York State
View the Short Video: Campaign for Fiscal Equality: Students Speak Out

Lesson Materials (word document)


  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Assignment Sheets
  • Pencil
  • Scientific Calculator or better
  • Excel Spreadsheet software (optional)

Lesson Length

  • One class period for the lesson
  • One class period for the follow up lesson

NYS Math Standards
Students use number sense and numeration to develop an understanding of the multiple uses of numbers in the real world, the use of numbers to communicate mathematically, and the use of numbers in the development of mathematical ideas.

  • understand, represent, and use numbers in a variety of equivalent forms (integer, fraction, decimal, percent, exponential, expanded and scientific notation).
  • understand and apply ratios, proportions, and percents through a wide variety of hands-on explorations.
  • recognize order relations for decimals, integers, and rational numbers.

Instructions for students

Study the data about the six regions in New York State. Notice the type and size of each region. Look closely at the number of students who attend school in each region and the amount of money that the region spends on those students.

Then, using a calculator, do some calculations to complete the second data table. Here you will get the chance to compare the six regions in terms of student population and amount of money spent per student.

Finally, write five true statements about the data, which compare any two regions. Feel free to use ratios, percents, decimals, and fractions to compare the data. An example is provided.

After your class has studied and discussed the data together, your teacher will show you some additional pieces of data.

Some students will need to round the figures to the nearest thousand, or hundred thousand, if they become overwhelmed with the data.


If students have access to a computer with Microsoft Excel they might make:

  • A bar graph comparing the student populations of the six selected regions
  • A bar graph showing the amount of money spent per general ed or special ed student in each region
  • A comparison of the total money spent on general education and special education in each region


Subject Areas:

Grade Levels:  6-8

About the teacher:

Kara Imm is a native of Minneapolis, MN where she attended Minneapolis Public schools and earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma. She studied American Studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA and worked for several years with Partners in School Innovation (a San Francisco Bay Area non-profit and AmeriCorps program committed to school reform in low-income communities).

She relocated to New York to study at Bank Street College, earning a Masters Degree in Education, with a focus on Early Adolescence. After serving as a middle school teacher and Math Teacher Leader in District 2 for several years, Kara was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Award, a fully paid travel and study grant offered each year to a select group of American educators. In October 2003 while in Tokyo and Nago, Okinawa, she deepened her knowledge of, and interest in, Japanese Lesson Study as a vehicle for transforming teaching practice.

Kara serves as an adjunct Professor at Pace University, where she teaches graduate courses to NYC Teaching Fellows. Kara also teaches math workshops to K-12 educators around the city, through her work and affiliation with the Math in the City project at City College.



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