Andy Isaacs received a BA in classical Greek from Northwestern University in 1974, an MST in elementary education from the University of Chicago in 1977, and a DA in mathematics (with concentrations in abstract algebra and theoretical computer science) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1994. From 1977 until 1985, Isaacs taught fourth and fifth grades in Chicago-area public schools. In 1985, he joined the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at UIC as a lecturer in mathematics education. Beginning in 1986, Isaacs worked on the NSF-funded Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science Project (TIMS) at UIC, which was directed by Philip Wagreich and Howard Goldberg. In 1989 and 1990, he worked with Wagreich and David Page on UIC's Maneuvers with Mathematics Project, another NSF-funded curriculum development effort. From 1990 to 1995, he was a full time writer for Math Trailblazers, a comprehensive curriculum for grades K-5 based on TIMS and funded by NSF.
In 1995, Isaacs joined the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project to work on the Bridges to Classroom Mathematics Project, which was directed by Sheila Sconiers. Isaacs was an author on the second edition of Everyday Mathematics (© 2000 and 2001). Since the late 1990s, Isaacs has directed a series of teacher development projects funded by grants and contracts from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Chicago Public Schools, and school districts across the nation. He has also led the development of all recent editions of Everyday Mathematics, including the third edition (© 2007), the California and Texas editions (© 2008), and the Common Core State Standards edition (© 2012). He is co-director of the University's Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education and a Senior Research Associate in the University's Physical Sciences Division.