Archive for the ‘math’ Category

New study: Fewer high school students in Georgia scoring at advanced levels in math

math (Medium)A new report finds high school achievement lagging in many states, including Georgia.

While state test scores have increased in high schools, as they have done in elementary and middle schools, the Center on Education Policy found that high school students show less progress than students at the other two levels. Gaps between groups of high school students have widened at the advanced achievement level in many states, including Georgia, one of a dozen states with a drop in students scoring at the advanced level in math.

(Before we put all the blame on the new math approach in Georgia high schools, please note that the period studied was 2004 to 2009.  Georgia introduced its controversial integrated math –  math taught using a multidisciplinary approach that draws on concepts taught in algebra, geometry and statistics simultaneously to solve problems — in high schools in 2008-2009 with that year’s entering freshman class. Those students also were exposed to integrated …

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State releases End of Course Test results. Math still a challenge.

High school students in Georgia continue to grapple with the state’s more challenging math curriculum, according to End of Course Test results released this afternoon by the state Department of Education.

Passing rates improved on seven of the eight 2011 spring End-of-Course Tests, including Math II, a course combining algebra, geometry and statistics. But 45 percent of students who took the Math II test failed.

Thirty-nine percent of students failed the EOCT in Math I, a prerequisite to Math II that covers algebra, geometry and statistics.

This is the release from the state DOE on End of Course Test results.

The results of the Spring 2011 Georgia End of Course Tests (EOCT) show student improvement in seven of eight tests. In comparing the results to Spring 2010, students demonstrate significant improvement in Biology, Physical Science, and U.S. History. EOCT scores also improved for Ninth Grade Literature, American Literature, and Economics.

The percentage of students who …

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State reports rise in most CRCT scores, including math. Is rise significant?

The state released encouraging statewide CRCT results today with system and school results coming later.

Please note in the release below John Barge’s comment on how Georgia will be able to compare its student performance to other states once we move to Common Core and its companion testing. I assume that we will see a phase-out of the CRCT and a move to the new test series being developed by a consortium of states, including Georgia.

Also notable is the rise in math scores in fifth and eighth grades. Statewide, 87 percent of Georgia’s fifth graders passed the CRCT for math this year, compared to 82 percent last year. The passing rate on eighth grade math jumped four percent, to 78 percent.

I have been reading teacher comments on this blog long enough to wonder about these basic questions about the CRCT: What does CRCT performance tell us about our students?  A testing expert once told me that states have to do a better job showing parents what a score means for their child, …

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Cherokee leads metro in grad test scores; Atlanta lands last

I threw the question out last week about how students fared on the Georgia High School Graduation math test and found an array of responses. Some posters reported great scores for their own schools.

But district scores released today indicate a drop in math scores overall in the metro area.

The AJC has a database where you can check math, science, social studies and English scores. My own district did well, with 99 percent passage on science, 90 on math, 96 on English and 91 social on studies. Overall, 84.4 percent of students passed all parts of the test, giving Decatur City Schools spot 18 on the statewide ranking.

The metro’s highest pass rate was Cherokee with 90 percent of its students passing all parts of the test. The lowest passing rate in the metro area was Atlanta Public Schools, with 58 percent passing.

Today’s AJC story reports:

District-by-district scores released Friday showed fewer metro students passed the math portion of the exam, which is one of five parts …

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How did high schoolers do on the integrated geometry End of Course Test?

I thought this e-mail question from a reader today was worth putting out here for consideration:

Have you heard anything, either officially or unofficially, about this year’s Integrated Geometry EOTC? I know of one group of teachers that were almost tarred and feathered because of their across the board horrendous drop in scores.

Have heard unofficially that scores across the state tanked. Would be interested in how much truth there is to this, and more importantly, the state’s take on it.

So, how did your school or child do? Any systems already dissecting what they did right or wrong?

From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

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DOE offers free graduation math remediation this summer

A public service announcement on behalf of Georgia DOE:

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced that the Georgia Department of Education will be offering Project ExPreSS in mathematics for summer 2011. Project ExPreSS (Exam Preparation for Student Success) is a free, two-week summer remediation program for Georgia public high school juniors who were first-time test-takers this year and did not pass the mathematics portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Tests

“Due to the past success of Project ExPreSS in social studies and science, we feel this program is an opportunity to fill the gap in mathematics and help students succeed,” said Superintendent Barge. “With this year being the first year that our students will take the Georgia Performance Standards-based GHSGT, we anticipate that some students will need remediation with our state’s best teachers, which is exactly what Project ExPreSS provides.”

Project ExPreSS in mathematics will be offered June 13-24, …

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Do all high school students need Algebra II? Maybe.

math (Medium)I have run several pieces and letters on the education op-ed page by people asking why students need algebra, including some by math teachers who contend that few employees will be called upon to use higher level math skills in their jobs. (Take a look at this good piece — You Will Never Use This Math Again — by local math teacher Ken Sprague Sr. )

The Washington Post attempts to answer the Algebra II question in a long piece this week.  This is a very even-handed and well done article. I am sharing an excerpt, but please read the whole piece if you have the time.

I put key paragraphs in bold. I think these issues are relevant to the Georgia debate under way on how to teach math and what to teach.  If you search this blog, you will see several pieces in the last few weeks on math, including this one on the fact that math will be more demanding no matter what Georgia calls its courses.

According to the Post story:

Of all of the classes offered in high school, Algebra II is …

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Math by any other name will still be harder than math of old

A teacher takes me and the paper to task for failing to note that no matter what it is called, math in Georgia reflects far more demanding standards and will never be the math of old. (AP Images.)

A teacher takes me and the paper to task for failing to note that no matter what it is called, math in Georgia reflects far more demanding standards and will never be the math of old. (AP Images.)

Among the many comments to me about math is this detailed note from a teacher alarmed over the amount of misinformation in this discussion.

He criticizes me and other AJC writers and protesting parents for failing to understand that the standards in Georgia’s math program form the basis of the new Common Core standards and they are not going away, not matter what we call the courses.

I appreciate two elements of his comment. He did his due diligence and he makes it accessible:

I have taught math in high school and college.  I have taught methods classes and supervised student teachers as a college supervisor and as a classroom teacher.  I have been an assistant principal and principal. Dozens of people have visited my  classroom to observe my teaching.

The recent reporting done by …

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Georgia approves dual math tracks. Or will they be dueling?

The state Board of Education voted this morning to approve dual math tracks in Georgia high schools, a decision that is bound to be controversial among math professionals, many of whom are bombarding me with notes that the problem is not the math but the lack of teacher training and resistance to change.

Here is the official statement:

The State Board of Education today approved the recommendation by State School Superintendent Dr. John D. Barge to allow four discrete math courses to be taught to students who may be struggling with the integrated math curriculum.  The four new courses – GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry, GPS Advanced Algebra, and GPS Pre-Calculus – are taught with a more traditional delivery. The board’s actions also allowed Math I-III Support classes to count as core credit rather than just elective credit.

“We have many students who are currently struggling with the integrated approach to the math curriculum,” said Superintendent Barge. “I applaud the …

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Real math story: Students passing End of Course Tests rose from 2008 to 2010

Here is a detailed analysis of the state math performance by a former Georgian and one of the writers of the Georgia Performance Standards in Mathematics. Brad Findell now works at the Ohio Department of Education leading that state’s mathematics initiatives, and also serves as president of the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics.

For those of you interested in this, please check out the PDF of his Excel file, which I have placed in Google docs and which you should be able to access. (Let me know if you can’t)

While reading a recent AJC article, I was struck by the fact that the statement about 80,000 failures in the Spring 2010 EOCTs was made without any context.  For comparison, there were about 71,000 failures in the Spring 2008 EOCTs in Algebra and Geometry.  But the real crime is that the AJC did not mention that the number of students passing the EOCTs rose from about 99,000 in 2008 to about 116,000 in 2010.  With a little comparison, it is hard to call …

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