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  • User profile image
    lajones

    I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of "judging" teachers, although I think that it is very important to evaluate a programs overall effectiveness based on the results.  Regarding a few points on another post that I read, I do think that there are critical points of a child's mathematical experience that need to be researched in depth.  (Although I haven't formulated an idea of how exactly that should be done.)  The research regarding mathematics education does show a decline between the 4th and 8th grades.  Since many students are placed into critical classes during the 6th though 8th grade year, my fear is that many talented students are lost during that period because they are misplaced.  In general, students should complete Algebra I by the end of the 8th grade in order to be prepared to take full advantage of the high school's offerings at this time.  (Of course, this could all change in 10 years, it is a dynamic system).  Another points of interest is freshman year in college.  Right now, too many students are placing into remedial math on entering college.  This could be due to lack of exposure to preparatory courses in high school, or many other factors could be involved.  It is a very complex issue with no easy quick fixes, but that is certainly does not justify doing nothing to fix it.  One simple idea that might help the transition from 5th to 6th, and/or 6th to 7th grade would be to use a prognosis test, rather than relying so heavily on teacher recommendations and classroom grades (which are sometimes one in the same) and achievement tests, which really measure what a child has been effectively taught.  What if a child has not had the opportunity to achieve yet, but really has an aptitude in the area?

     

     

  • User profile image
    lajones

    I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of "judging" teachers, although I think that it is very important to evaluate a programs overall effectiveness based on the results.  Regarding a few points on another post that I read, I do think that there are critical points of a child's mathematical experience that need to be researched in depth.  (Although I haven't formulated an idea of how exactly that should be done.)  The research regarding mathematics education does show a decline between the 4th and 8th grades.  Since many students are placed into critical classes during the 6th though 8th grade year, my fear is that many talented students are lost during that period because they are misplaced.  In general, students should complete Algebra I by the end of the 8th grade in order to be prepared to take full advantage of the high school's offerings at this time.  (Of course, this could all change in 10 years, it is a dynamic system).  Another points of interest is freshman year in college.  Right now, too many students are placing into remedial math on entering college.  This could be due to lack of exposure to preparatory courses in high school, or many other factors could be involved.  It is a very complex issue with no easy quick fixes, but that is certainly does not justify doing nothing to fix it.  One simple idea that might help the transition from 5th to 6th, and/or 6th to 7th grade would be to use a prognosis test, rather than relying so heavily on teacher recommendations and classroom grades (which are sometimes one in the same) and achievement tests, which really measure what a child has been effectively taught.  What if a child has not had the opportunity to achieve yet, but really has an aptitude in the area?

     

     

  • User profile image
    Alfred Thompson

    I just left an all day workshop in Boston on college readiness and one of the points people were making is how critical middle school is for getting kids on the right math path. I agree with that assesment. Middle school is a tough age to teach (I only did it a year and it was not for me) but that is when we all too often lose kids in math. I have no idea how to fix it though.

  • User profile image
    Alfred Thompson

    I just left an all day workshop in Boston on college readiness and one of the points people were making is how critical middle school is for getting kids on the right math path. I agree with that assesment. Middle school is a tough age to teach (I only did it a year and it was not for me) but that is when we all too often lose kids in math. I have no idea how to fix it though.

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