Home > Singapore Math Story

    The Singapore Math story

    In the beginning ...

    Singapore Math Inc. was the first company to bring math books from Singapore to the U.S. This was in 1998 when only a handful of academics in the U.S. were aware of the high quality curriculum materials in Singapore. We did our research, and selected the best primary (Primary Mathematics published by Federal Publications) and secondary (New Elementary Mathematics published by Pan Pacific Publications) series that were available in Singapore at that time.

    We first approached the Singapore publishers of Primary Mathematics in 1997 for exclusive permission to distribute their books in the U.S. market. Our initial request was met with skepticism on the part of the publishers because they did not believe there was a market for Singapore math books in the U.S. However, we were persistent, and they agreed when we made it clear to them that our company would be solely responsible for all the marketing and selling expenses. In other words, our company was assuming all the effort, expenses and financial risks required to break into the U.S. market with the Singapore math books. We brought in the first shipment of Primary Mathematics and New Elementary Mathematics in 1998.

    How we made it happen...

    We started reaching out to homeschoolers and private schools. It was not an easy task for a small company to convince customers that math books published in a tiny country and written in British English were really some of the best in the world. But through hard work and determination, the word was out about "Singapore Math" in less than two years.

    "Singapore Math"...

    The term, "Singapore Math," came into use in the U.S. around the year 2000 when U.S. academics, homeschoolers, schools and the media started referring to our books as Singapore Math books. Since then, "Singapore Math" has been the descriptive term used by customers, educators and the media to refer to our company and the math books that we distribute. The term "Singapore Math books" is not used in Singapore, where they just use the term "maths books" (what other math would they be using!?). In 2001, we incorporated our company under the name SingaporeMath.com Inc. Singapore Math is a registered trademark of our company and it refers to the brand of Singapore Math books that we have put together for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

    Our continual success ...

    In 2003 we collaborated with the publishers of Primary Mathematics (Times Media, now Marshall Cavendish Education Pte. Ltd.) to create the U.S. Edition of Primary Mathematics. Our company started publishing some supplementary series and guides for this U.S. Edition of Primary Mathematics. We also started working with other publishers in Singapore to bring in some top supplementary titles and other secondary level mathematics series to ensure that our Singapore Math brand maintained its reputation for providing academically rigorous products.

    While there have been other primary math series published in Singapore since, we do not believe any of them meet the same standards as the Primary Mathematics series. In 2008 we rolled out the Standards Edition of the Primary Mathematics series. Most recently, the Common Core Edition of Primary Mathematics was added to provide schools and home educators with a Singapore Math series aligned with CCSS.

    In 2012, we added a Common Core-aligned series for grades 7-8, based on the Discovering Mathematics series used in Singapore. Working with Star Publishing, this series was created for the U.S. market. Initially named Discovering Mathematics, the series name changed in 2013 to Dimensions Math Common Core.

    Our commitment ...

    We are committed to providing only the best programs and textbooks from Singapore in order to maintain the high standards of our Singapore Math brand products for the North American market.


    TIMSS

    What is TIMSS?

    TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) is designed to measure trends in students mathematics and science achievement in four-year cycles.

    Who conducts these studies?

    These studies are conducted by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). IEA is an independent, international cooperative of national research institutions and governmental research agencies. They are based in Boston, Mass.

    How many TIMSS have been conducted so far?

    Conducted on a four-year cycle, the first round of TIMSS was in 1995, the second in 1999, the third in 2003, the fourth in 2007, and the fifth in 2011.

    General Information on TIMSS:

    TIMSS 2011

    TIMSS 2007

    TIMSS 2003

    TIMSS 1999

    TIMSS 1995

    TIMSS reports on student achievement:

    2011

    2007

    2003

    1999

    1995

    Complete TIMSS reports (very long pdf files):

    2011

    2007

    2003

    1999

    1995

    What does TIMSS have to do with Singapore Math Inc.?

    Singapore's 4th and 8th grade students scored top place for Mathematics in 1995, 1999 and 2003.

    Singapore students who took TIMSS in 1995, 1999 and 2003 were using the Primary Mathematics series, New Elementary Mathematics and New Syllabus Mathematics (5th Edition). Singapore Math Inc. is the official distributor of Primary Mathematics and New Elementary Mathematics to U.S. and Canadian markets.

    What are the key findings of TIMSS pertaining to Singapore's outstanding performance in mathematics?

    Please see the following press releases by the Ministry of Education, Singapore:

    http://www.moe.gov.sg/press/2004/pr20041214.htm (for TIMSS 2003)

    http://www.moe.gov.sg/press/2000/pr06122000.htm (for TIMSS 1999)

    http://www.moe.gov.sg/press/1997/st00297.htm (for TIMSS 1995)

    Detailed information about TIMSS can be found at the TIMSS web site and the IEA web site.


    AIR Study

    What is AIR?

    The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world.

    What is the purpose of this study?

    Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the study What the United States Can Learn From Singapores World-Class Mathematics System (and what Singapore can learn from the United States) identified major differences between the mathematics frameworks, textbooks, assessments, and teacher preparation in the U.S. and Singapore.

    What else does the study include?

    The study also includes initial results from four pilot programs that used the Singapore Math curriculum in place of their previous curriculum. The pilot programs involved students in Baltimore, Md., Montgomery County, Md., North Middlesex, Mass., and Paterson, N.J.

    What Singapore Math books did these pilot programs use?

    All four pilot programs used the Primary Mathematics series.

    Where can I find the full AIR report?

    Please visit the AIR web site for the summarized report.