Friday, December 11, 2009

I Hate To Say I Told You So

Bet no one will be surprised when they read this. NYC schools are not preparing their students with mathematical skills. Nearly 90% of 200 students tested could not solve a simple algebraic equation and only one-third of them could convert a fraction to a decimal.

Hey, Education Mayor, you've increased graduation rates but what have you really accomplished?


Kim said...

Sadly, I see the same thing here in Florida. I had to teach my AP Environmental Science kids how to do long division manually the other day. Now, these are kids who have taken higher level math. But they are so calculator-dependent that many of them can't do basic math functions on their own. (They can't use calculators on the APES exam.) Many of my regular bio kids can't do simple subtraction problems without a calculator. On the one hand, it's not realistic (I guess) to expect that they will need to do this math without a calculator any time in their lives. On the other hand, I don't see these kids carrying around calculators everywhere they go, either.

Schoolgal said...

Maybe people better start listening to teachers. When we were hit with Trailblazers and Every Day Math, basic skills were tossed at the window. My principal "allowed" us to supplement, but others did not.

Did you know there are now different ways to add, subtract and divide using Every Day math that are driving the parents crazy because they cannot help their kids??? I had to teach multiplication using a "grid" method because it was on "the test". But I was also one of the few teachers to give speed drills in basic multiplication every week.

I was shocked that the first lesson for 3rd graders was graphing. Not just simple plotting, but all the bells and whistles of reading all type of graphs. These are kids who still eat glue and cry when someone steals their pencil. The pacing calendars are so stupid. They assume a student will learn important concepts in 2 lessons or less. Again, I would close my door and do it my way.

We need to go back to teaching the basics and also reevaluate the pacing calendar. It is not necessary to pile in so many concepts in one year. Instead, concentrate of a few and teach them fully.

I used to love teaching math until these new methods came around.

NY_I said...

Hi I sent the invite earlier, when the time for the online poll cut off comments.
It's ready for your vote: which sitcom does your latest school remind you of?

The whimsy of your site has been an inspiration to me.

mathman42 said...

I think I mentioned a while ago that when I applied for an adjunct job at a local community college, they said their need is for pre-Algebra and 9th grade level classes. Of course, PO knows all about this.