Thursday, October 1, 2009
New Math Finally Explained!
SwitchedOnMom in her blog, The More Child, which focuses on giftedness and teaching advanced and AP courses, has this to say to Jay Mathews regarding pushing the math curriculum in high schools:
Jay Mathews, as they say, has some “’splaining ” to do. From his column in today’s Washington Post.
Nobody writing about schools has been a bigger supporter of getting more students into eighth-grade algebra than I have been. I wrote a two-part series for the front page six years ago that pointed out how important it is to be able to handle algebra’s abstractions and unknown quantities before starting high school. I have argued that we should rate middle schools by the percentage of students who complete Algebra I by eighth grade.
Now, because of a startling study being released today, I am having second thoughts.
Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, has looked at the worst math students, those scoring in the bottom 10th on the National Assessment of Educational Progress eighth-grade test. He discovered that 28.6 percent of them — let me make that clear: nearly three out of every 10 — were enrolled in first-year algebra, geometry or second-year algebra. Almost all were grossly misplaced, probably because of the push to get kids into algebra sooner.
For more on the subject, read her post titled, "Just Say No to Accelerated Math", or the recent post by blogger Frizzle titled, "Algebra and AP - No, not for everyone".