Failing math scores cause challenges to advance education.
Many students who take the state required math test continuously fail the test. Unfortunately, this keeps hundreds of students from graduating from high school each year. Additionally, they must have passed all the other subject requirements to be eligible for graduation with a diploma. These students end up taking remedial classes when they enter community college to catch up with their peers.
Results for required math test for graduation are in! The verdict... Failure!
Currently, certain high school students who struggle in math are being left behind. Students who can't get a high school diploma must pass the GED exam, which furthers their struggle in college, where algebra requirement become even more challenging. This leaves many high school students finding themselves ill-equipped for college.
Yet, for years, high demand professions such as licensed vocational nurses, dental hygienists, or ultrasound technicians have not required intensive algebra skills. This realization of the current job market has community college educators questioning the necessity of their current "one-size-fits-all" model. Thankfully, these students are now being offered preventive and alternative class options.
Real life concepts help math make sense
This problem has led to teachers looking for alternative ways to teach math. According to Colleges Rethink the Math Students Need, programs that focus on the grounded aspects of math are perfect to keep students engaged. An example is Big Bend Community College, where they allow students to participate in learn-at-your-own-pace math classes.
Others have also developed a program called Quantway, which uses math skills to solve real-world problems. This makes the students see the importance of math because they see the effect it has on their lives. Similarly, college students have the Statway methods of teaching and presenting statistics, which allows Non-STEM degree earners to study statistics used in everyday life by analyzing polls and studies. For example, students learn how to analyze data and make inferences about the data they are reading.
During their struggle with high school algebra, students do not develop an understanding of the underlying concepts. These programs, by contrast, aim to build math intuition.
This method really works!
The article It's not you, it's the math: Colleges rethink what students need shares a specific story of how this approach at teaching math worked.
Dena DeYoung traces her trouble with math back to sixth grade, when a well-intended placement test showed she was smart enough to do advanced work. For several years, DeYoung did well. When she reached high school, math became the class she most struggled with. Lost by the logic, unable to imagine what she was learning would ever come into play in the real world, her math grades plummeted.
DeYoung eventually dropped out of school. Instead of a high school diploma, the promising student earned a GED. Students who are studying to become social workers, early-childhood educators or carpenters may never use intermediate algebra, and especially not calculus. DeYoung, now 26, enrolled in Seattle Central's version of Statway, but with the nagging concern that she would soon hit a wall just like in high school.
But it did not happen! In the first quarter, she realized there wasn't anything wrong with her. DeYoung said, " All I needed was a different approach." Seattle Central is one of 19 colleges nationally using Statway, which was developed by the Carnegie Foundation. The foundation has also developed a program called Quantway. that uses math skills to solve real-world problems.
Many students shy away from math, because at first try they are not good at it. This can have devastating effects on a person. Consequently, the fear and anxiety of math and their math performance hinders their ability to acquire basic math skills, possibly leading to an adulthood of financial devastation. Not everyone will need to know how to do algebra or calculus, but basic math is important for almost everyone.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty with ADD, ADHD, or other learning disabilities and struggling in school? Please check out our free assessment. Learn how to get to the root of the problem. Find out which micro-skills need strengthening to increase learning ability. Take our assessment by clicking here.