The algebra divide: essentials on education data and analysis from research authority AEL.Algebra is a gateway to better math scores on standardized tests A standardized test is a test administered and scored in a standard manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent"  , higher math courses, and college attendance. Several studies have now established these benefits. Yet in districts or states that do not require algebra for graduation from high school, many students never study it, including a disproportionate number of poor and minority children. They will be at a disadvantage when the new SAT is administered in March 2005: the math section will cover not only Algebra I and Geometry but some concepts from Algebra II.
So, how can district leaders promote more and better instruction in algebra for all students? The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) was founded in 1920. It has grown to be the world's largest organization concerned with mathematics education, having close to 100,000 members across the USA and Canada, and internationally. advises administrators to "create the school climate and energize en·er·gize
v. en·er·gized, en·er·giz·ing, en·er·giz·es
1. To give energy to; activate or invigorate: "His childhood teachers and students in ways that will challenge current expectations and set new goals for mathematics teaching and learning." The latest research suggests some specifics:
Prep for success in the early grades National Assessment of Educational Progress The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "the Nation's Report Card," is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. results for 13-year-olds suggest that large numbers do not have the computational skills they need before they can take algebra. These skills should be mastered during the elementary grades, starting with pre-math skills Prior to learning mathematics, preschoolers and kindergarten students learn pre-math skills. They include learning to count numbers, learning the proper sequencing of numbers (1 comes before 2 and so on), learning to determine which shapes are bigger or smaller, and learning to in kindergarten, when many black and Hispanic students already trail their white and Asian counterparts on tests of early math skills. Students should also be introduced to algebraic 1. (language) ALGEBRAIC - An early system on MIT's Whirlwind.
[CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)].
2. (theory) algebraic - In domain theory, a complete partial order is algebraic if every element is the least upper bound of some chain of compact elements. concepts during the elementary grades so that they are prepared to make the middle-school "leap" to algebra's more abstract language.
Offer algebra in eighth grade The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and those who have analyzed the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is an international assessment of the mathematics and science knowledge of fourth- and eighth-grade students around the world. agree that students need algebra by the end of eighth grade if they are to achieve high standards. A recent study conducted by Nora Hall at George Mason University Named after American revolutionary, patriot and founding father George Mason, the university was founded as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1957 and became an independent institution in 1972. found that students who took algebra in the eighth grade were more likely to continue taking high-level mathematics courses throughout high school than students who took algebra in the seventh or ninth grades. The Southern Regional Education Board Assessment of Seniors found that students who said they took at least one semester of Algebra I in the sixth, seventh or eighth grade generally scored better in math. Nationally, only 27 percent of all white and Asian-American eighth-graders take Algebra 1, and just 20 percent of Latinos and African-Americans.
Recruit or develop qualified math teachers Students achieve higher math scores when their middle school and high school teachers major in the subject, but the 1999 TIMSS-R TIMSS-R Third International Mathematics and Science Study - Repeat showed that only 41 percent of U.S. eighth graders had a teacher who majored in math.
Invest in high-quality professional development The current trend is toward more emphasis on understanding concepts and less on memorizing formulas, but the National Academies support a teaching approach that includes both-and helps students solve problems, reason, and relate math to everyday life. An analysis of TIMSS TIMSS Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
TIMSS Third International Math and Science Study data by William Schmidt William Schmidt was born in Chicago in 1926 and is an American composer of classical music.
He has produced a large body of solo and chamber works for neglected woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, including several pieces for classical saxophone. of Michigan State University Michigan State University, at East Lansing; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855. It opened in 1857 as Michigan Agricultural College, the first state agricultural college. finds that American students spend more time in middle school going over familiar ground instead of moving on to complex math as Mathematics courses named Math A, Maths A, and similar are found in:
Enroll more students in algebra The Southern Regional Education Board found that enrolling more ninth-grade students in high-level classes does not raise failure rates and does raise student achievement. Evidence from the board suggests that students who go on to college are less likely to need remedial courses if they complete a core of challenging academic courses in high school and take a high-level mathematics course in the senior year. This is significant, given that 62 percent of remedial education students are deficient in mathematics, compared with 38 percent in reading and 45 percent in writing.
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Mathematics Achievement Gap NAEP results for 17-year-olds Able to solve Able to solve multi-step problems moderately complex problems African-American 1% 27% Hispanic 3% 38% White 10% 70% Source: NAEP, nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard Higher Math = Higher Education Algebra is the gateway to higher-level high school mathematics courses. Taking these courses increases the odds of earning a college diploma Percentage of high school graduates completing this course who then High school course title earned a bachelor's degree by age 30 Algebra 1 8% Geometry 23% Algebra 2 40% Trigonometry 62% Precalculus 74% Calculus 80% Source: Adelma, Clifford. 1999