The latest NAEP data indicates that only 33 percent of 8th grade students perform at or above the proficient level in mathematics. This continued urgency to close the gap in mathematics education remains critical – through work in the field in middle school, RME has identified a need for a progress monitoring tool that targets rational number operations and algebraic thinking. RME’s latest project in collaboration with Istation, Inc. is to develop an algebra readiness progress monitoring tool that addresses this gap. Progress monitoring is an efficient and reliable way to capture data at regular and frequent intervals as students move through mathematics instruction. The frequency of the assessments tracks students’ response to instructional change, and teachers can evaluate their development in increasingly complex content throughout the year. The RME team hosted 18 Texas educators on SMU campus in November to design items for this project. Delivery of the project totaling over 5,400 assessment items across grades 6-8 is expected in 2016.