Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Math Wiz

I admit to a math deficiency, but I have no idea what to make of this quote from a Los Angeles Times story about the results from California's STAR test.
"But O'Connell and other educators acknowledged a pronounced proficiency problem in high schools, where the percentage of students skilled in algebra and geometry dropped last spring from levels three years earlier. State officials attributed that to an increase in the numbers of students taking more advanced math classes, including algebra, a new state graduation requirement."
So if you take advanced classes you get dumber?


Blogger Mike Liveright said...

My guess:

The NCLB probably tests "simple math" e.g. 2+2=?, where as if one is taking more advanced math one is not drilled as much on the computational, simple, math, but on the concepts, and thus less "quick" at solving the simple problems.

I know of lots of mathematicians who can't easily balance their check books and lots of people who can, but are not good at advanced math.


1) As I say this is JUST a guess.

2) When I talk to some teachers they suggest that this may be indicative of a possible problem in the strict testing of the NCLB system. We want our young to be creative and there is a possibility that there is more of a tendancy to teach to the test and teach less creative concepts.

3) On the other hand, our national problem is not primarly teaching the creative students, but first ensuring that all our citizens get at least a minimum education, and Thanks to the Bush, his NCLB program seems to be helping in raising the minimum national standards and reducing the gap between the groups in the society.

So, as was pointed out by my conservative friend, we liberals should recognize that the NCLB program of Bush (and others) is working, perhaps not as well as we might like... but recognize improvement even if it comes from the Republicans, and work together to make it better.

1:40 AM  

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