Monday, November 28, 2005

More Higher Math in Middle School, and More Do Well

From the Washington Post, excerpt:

"When Eric J. Smith became superintendent of Anne Arundel schools in 2002, students were allowed to take high school math in middle school only if they scored in the 90th percentile or better on a math aptitude test.

Smith relaxed entry rules so that three times as many students -- those scoring in the 70th, 80th or 90th percentiles, as well as some in the 60th percentile -- could take Algebra I in middle school. Less than 5 percent of students who took the state algebra test this spring failed."

Bravo for Smith! It seems like a paradox, but many children do need more challenge to perform better. Also, education proceeds best when students are challenged at their conceptual level, though they may fail to crack the 90% barrier (e.g. careless mistakes).

The strong performance of these kids also seems to fit with the finding that adolescent brains seem better suited to doing algebra than adults(here).

More Succeed in Higher Math

1 comment:

  1. Surprise Surprise ....
    The more exposure, repetition and practice students get, the better they do in Math.
    Maybe it's like riding a bicycle - the more you ride, the better you get!!!! Wow. Phenomenal.
    As a homeschooler, I started my grade 6 son doing High School math very early and he loves it.
    No pressure, just a super blog called and he loves math and is well ahead of all his friends in math.
    Let's not be surprised at the obvious!!