Analysis of State Early Learning Standards for Number, Number Relations, and Number Operations Indicators

Author: Sara Gable

Math skills and knowledge during preschool reliably predict children’s future math achievement and later outcomes including employability, on-the-job productivity, and socioeconomic status in adulthood.  A new analysis of state Early Learning Standards (ELS) for math, conducted by IPP Director Sara Gable and former graduate research assistant, Afiah Mohd Fozi, revealed considerable variability in the prevalence of key indicators of children’s understanding of number, number relations, and number operations.  Early Learning Standards are multi-function tools that inform teacher practices, educate parents and other early childhood professionals, and serve as a foundation for preservice training, professional development, and standards-based instruction and curriculum.  Although the U.S. has common core standards for math for kindergarten through eighth grade, there are no common core standards for preschool math and states have great latitude in developing their own standards. 

Study results are intended to highlight strengths and shortcomings of state ELS for number, number relations, and number operations and to offer considerations for future revisions.  

The full-text article is available at:

Project Team Members: Sara Gable, Ph.D., Afiah Mohd Fozi, Ph.D.

Contact: Sara Gable,, 573-882-4628