Posted on **12/01/2012 2:31:36 PM PST** by **thecodont**

California students who fail algebra and repeat the course are pretty much doomed to fail again, a vicious cycle that wastes limited resources and precious learning time, according to a report released Friday.

Just over a third of students in the 24 school districts studied had to repeat Algebra I either in ninth or 10th grade, yet even after a second year of study, relatively few were proficient in the subject.

Of those who took the class in eighth grade and repeated it as freshmen, just 1 in 5 scored at a proficient level on standardized tests. And of those who repeated as sophomores, 9 percent were proficient.

"These results provide powerful evidence that school systems are struggling to successfully teach, or reteach, mathematics to students who are not already performing well in math by the time they reach middle school," said Neal Finkelstein, the lead researcher on the study, which was commissioned by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd. ...

All told, half of all students in the study repeated algebra, geometry or Algebra II.

Yet many students retake the same course taught the same way, sometimes by the same teacher, according to the authors.

[...]

Researchers found that the majority of students who were proficient in Algebra I at the end of eighth grade followed an accelerated math track of geometry in ninth grade and Algebra II in 10th grade.

And those students made up the vast majority - 75 percent - of all those in their class who would ever become proficient in algebra by high school graduation.

Not a single student who earned below a grade of D in seventh-grade math went on to take calculus in high school, according to researchers.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...

first previous 1-20 ... 81-100,

To: **dfwgator**

And that was even before they invented Cairo practice.

To: **thecodont**

Poor math skills are why North Americans can't understand the "fiscal cliff"....the long-term effect of exponential functions as applied to uncurtailed growth of entitlements. The "cliff" is straight applied math, not politics; it is inevitable, and inescapable.

We went over the cliff years ago. All we are doing now is trying to scout out a place to land that doesn't bankrupt us all.

102
posted on **12/01/2012 6:25:29 PM PST**
by Scooter100
("Now that the fog has lifted, I still can't find my pipe". --- S. Holmes)

To: **TruthBeforeAll**

I really didn’t understand Math very well past the basic level, at which I excelled. The hippie teachers of the early 70’s served as automatons, who only checked for the correct answers. I could look at the Algebra I problems and instantly plug in the correct values for the problems without really understanding the concepts. I did all the worksheets, and the

“teachers” NEVER asked to see the work I did to “solve” the problems.

Kahn Academy is the BEST resource I have ever seen for those who want to learn math on there own. I learned more Algebra in three hours on the site than I learned in my entire high school career.

There were some good Math teachers in high school. The Calculus teacher I had senior year really tried to help me, but my Math skills were pitiful at that point, and I just couldn’t get it.

To: **thecodont**

They’re getting closer, but...

They’re still attacking the wrong problem. The problem IS NOT Algebra - the problem is arithetic. If the kids were learning arithmentic, rather than punching a calculator, Algebra would come MUCH, MUCH, easier. Likewise it is not even possible to learn Algebra without some arithmentic skills - it’s just a blur of letters.

104
posted on **12/01/2012 6:52:29 PM PST**
by BobL
(You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)

To: **SpaceBar**

What would such a course (or courses) typically be called? Thanks.

To: **SpaceBar**

What would such a course (or courses) typically be called? Thanks.

To: **SpaceBar**

What would such a course (or courses) typically be called? Thanks.

To: **Standing Wolf**

Well said and an excellent post on the subject. Your experiences mirror mine in many ways. Ninth-grade algebra was a struggle and convinced me, incorrectly, that math wasn’t my thing so I stopped there as nothing further was required, at that time, for HS graduation.

My college major only required a minimal 4-hour math course. When I was commissioned from Army ROTC into the Field Artillery, I found out the folly of my choices because trigonometry was going to be part of missile flight firing calculations. It’s amazing how motivation can remove misplaced “fear of math” and I found out I actually understood it, likely in the same way you did with geometry and trig.

My next epiphany was when I went into construction and got another exposure to practical geometry/trig when figuring stairs and curved balcony openings for railings. Then I went to grad school where statistics were my next hurdle that I actually understood because the applications seemed very graphic.

108
posted on **12/01/2012 7:48:43 PM PST**
by T-Bird45
(It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)

To: **SpaceBar**

Ack. Sorry for the triple post.

To: **SpaceBar**

They’re not teaching the latter form in any high school - as you point out, the abstract stuff is for math majors.

The high school variant, as you also point out, can be learned by rote.

And therein lies the issue: The modern teaching methods movement decries “drill and kill,” but want to know something? There are some things where “drills” work just fine. I don’t have to even think about how to multiply numbers up to 15, because we memorized them. If I had to think about how to do multiplication, I would have never made it through all the math involved in electrical engineering.

Here’s the teaching method that would solve most all of today’s problems in education:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103440/drug-free-treatment

To: **thecodont**

It’s called abstract algebra. Note carefully the word abstract and in particular its dictionary meaning. Then think about Picasso and how he represented his subject matter on canvas. You should have an “aha” moment.

To: **thecodont**

Do they want to learn?

Teaching beginning programming - to wit applied algebra to a great degree - I see many who are just unmotivated.

To: **cva66snipe; JmyBryan**

I tell my math-teacher sister that they need to drop the word "algebra" and call the class "what if?". Almost all of algebra can be taught by asking "what if" and discovering a method to determine the answer.

What if your car gets 9 mpg and you have 2 gallons of gas? Once they see how that one works, then generalize the question. What if your car gets 9 mpg ... how would you determine how much gas it needs to get somewhere?

What if you are at the south-west corner of a section of land (1 mile square) and you need to get to a point that is in the center of the section ... how far will you need to travel to get there by the shortest path?

What if Obama is re-elected and the national debt takes off in an exponential rate. How much will your generation owe in 12 years?

Start off asking "what if" and discover a method. Hopefully, discover two or three and learn that there are usually multiple ways to get to the correct answer ... and, most importantly, how to determine which one is the better method in this problem.

Of course, all this might explain why I'm teaching computers and not math.

113
posted on **12/01/2012 8:12:01 PM PST**
by Stegall Tx
(Living off your tax dollars can be kinda fun, but not terribly profitable.)

To: **thecodont**

At the community college where I work, they have found that if a student passes their remedial math classes, they have a very high likelihood to complete their degree. But if they fail any one portion of their remedial math pathway, they almost always drop out before completing their degree.

114
posted on **12/01/2012 8:13:55 PM PST**
by Stegall Tx
(Living off your tax dollars can be kinda fun, but not terribly profitable.)

To: **Stegall Tx**

Here’s one:

What if you have enough money to buy $30 worth of groceries per week for one month? If you follow the servings guidelines for good nutrition, i.e., fruits, dairy, meat, vegetables and cereals, what would you buy and eat?

115
posted on **12/01/2012 8:15:01 PM PST**
by combat_boots
(The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)

To: **JmyBryan**

Last week the NYT Xword had an algebra theme, with clues ( all across ) "Part one of problem", "Part two of problem", and "Answer to problem". Answers to clues were:

XPLUSYISSIXTEEN

XMINUSYISFOUR

XISTENANDYISSIX

To: **NVDave**

One of the funniest scenes from south park.

To: **Mad Dawgg**

Well, have you tried Book II of Euclid's Elements? This is nothing but familiar introductory algebra, but expressed in geometric form. Of course to Euclid, there was no other way.

If a straight line be bisected and a straight line be added to it in a straight line, the rectangle contained by the whole with the added straight line and the added straight line together with the square on the half is equal to the square on the straight line made up of the half and the added straight line.

To: **RegulatorCountry**

“My lightbulb moment occurred via coursework in statistics and probability, a very amusing field in some ways”

my first challenging course was college stats. Our first test was on the third day. It covered the first three chapters of the book. All about descriptive statistics, averages, mean, median, mode, standard deviation etc. I was sick as a dog when I took the test and I barely remember taking it. I got a 40. The teacher stood up in class and said that anyone who got less than an 80 on the test was too stupid and should go drop the class.

I thought to myself who are you to tell me I am stupid. I dug in so hard I never got anything less than 100 on any assignment or test in that class. To this day that was one of my most enjoyable classes. I finally realized that the teacher didn’t really think we were stupid he was challenging us.

We had lots of practical case assignments and cool projects. Found out later the other classes didn’t take their first tes until 3 weeks in to the course and they didn’t finish half of the book. We had 2 books and finished them both. That was the class that taught me school is what you make of it and you can learn anything you just have to have the drive.

My stats teacher also had a saying. Contrary to popular opinion statistics don’t lie. Statisticians lie. We had one entire section of the course on manipulation and pulling apart public statistics cases and proving manipulation by the researcher. Fun class.

To: **thecodont**

Yeah, guess what? If you have an 85 IQ (and many coming over the border are in that range or lower, sorry that is factual) you can't take a higher level math.

Now mix that 85 IQ with jacked up home lives and you've got a kid that will be lucky to pass Business Math 1.

120
posted on **12/01/2012 8:32:31 PM PST**
by riri
(Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)

first previous 1-20 ... 81-100,

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