Friday, July 30, 2010
Struggles Continue with New Math
According to this article in the AJC, Final exams show teens struggle with new math curriculum:
"Teens fared so poorly with Georgia’s newly accelerated sophomore math curriculum last school year that state officials want to put the lowest performers in an easier course in August that more can pass."
Now that's brilliant. If they can't pass, let's make it easier!
"Only 52 percent of the students who took the End of Course Test for Math II in May passed, the state recently reported. Many students in metro Atlanta schools who took the tests squeaked by with barely passing grades, earning modest average scores of C's and D's for their districts.
The freshman class, meanwhile, fared somewhat better on the Math I End of Course Test, with 64 percent passing."
"Tamela Cosby, an Atlanta Public Schools high school teacher, said only 20 percent of her ninth- and 10th-graders passed the final. They also struggled with the material in class.
“Since the course is a little difficult for the students, it's not enough time to teach to mastery,” Cosby said. “They are not really understanding the material. For a lot of them, it’s the reading comprehension. They are not understanding what is being asked of them. It’s not just two plus two, there are word problems. They are not used to thinking in that aspect.”
So, it looks like the real failure here is in reading comprehension and understanding word problems.
About 80,000 teens statewide failed final exams in Math I and Math II in May."
It seems Ms. Cox got out of Dodge just in time.
For a little history on the subject, read the article by Shayna Steinfeld posted here last year called, "All About Math".
For a good discussion on the subject, check out Maureen Downey's blog.