# General Discussion

Related: Editorials & Other Articles, Issue Forums, Alliance Forums, Region Forums# Not a single student was proficient in math. Not one student

What a national disgrace... and money is NOT the problem

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/at-13-baltimore-city-high-schools-zero-students-tested-proficient-on-2023-state-math-exam#

Last school year, Baltimore City Schools received

**$1.6 billion from taxpayers**, the most ever. The district also received

**$799 million in Covid relief funding**from the federal government. And still, not a single student tested at 13 City high schools scored proficient on the state math test.

“So, it's not a funding issue. We're getting plenty of funding,” said Rodriguez.“I don't think money is the issue. I think accountability is the issue.”

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#### enough

(13,381 posts)#### SickOfTheOnePct

(7,290 posts)#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)COMPETITIVE SALARY

Our starting salary for teachers is more than $50,000—one of the highest in the country. Teachers that qualify for our Model pathway through their impact on student achievement can earn more than $90,000 after just a few years in the classroom.

https://teachbaltimorecity.org/your-career/salary-and-benefits

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)It takes a teacher with a masters degree 17 years to reach the maximum: $92,145

https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20222023Staff/2022-2023_Professional_Salary_Schedules.pdf

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)I mean, my link came from Baltimore schools

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)whose goal is to recruit teachers for the Baltimore school system.

https://teachbaltimorecity.org/your-career/salary-and-benefits

The data I'm using is from the Maryland State Department of Education. More specifically, I'm citing Baltimore data from the Maryland State Department of Education

https://www.marylandpublicschools.org/about/Documents/DCAA/SSP/20222023Staff/2022-2023_Professional_Salary_Schedules.pdf

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)but is that to say they aren't paid "enough"?

I mean, even a BA/MA has a starting salary (not including bennies) between $50-60,000

This doesn't explain the poor math proficiency

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)Teachers are only on piece of the puzzle.

**Test results show Maryland students making most progress since pandemic**

Test results from the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program show students are making the most progress since the COVID-19 pandemic. School officials said the upswing in test scores comes as the state prepares to make record investments in education.

snip=============================

"We are exceeding pre-pandemic results in literacy and we've had some of the highest jumps in a single year in nearly a decade," Choudhury said.

But there was at least one exception: middle school math scores were not much better than they were before the pandemic. It's a concern among superintendents across Maryland.

"Many times, a student who is expected to perform on a math assessment has to first be able to read a passage, so if you show me a child that's struggling with literacy, that child is much more likely to struggle with the math concepts and the math reasoning," Cecil County Public Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Lawson said.

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/maryland-test-results-pandemic-english-math-science-students/44880879#

#### wnylib

(23,205 posts)Students who didn't have laptop connectivity had trouble keeping up with studies.

I wonder what the economic demographics are for the schools whose students were tested. According to Wikipedia, in 2020, 20% of the Baltimore population was living in poverty. There is a high percentage of immigrants also. Those factors might play a part in the students' test performance and in the availability of online connections for studies during the pandemic shutdowns.

#### Hassin Bin Sober

(26,513 posts)We have a poverty problem.

#### Amishman

(5,656 posts)57% of households with children in Baltimore are single parent. The nationwide average is 23%.

A two parent household has an extremely strong correlation with child academic success.

To have such a lack of student success, it takes many overlapping failures. The kids are being failed by their teachers, but many of them also are lacking critical support at home. Not to mention the Bart Simpson effect of troubled children negativity impacting their peers.

#### elleng

(133,862 posts)Someones don't have proper method for TEACHING math.

#### SheilaAnn

(9,916 posts)#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)I work in NYS education, and there was significant across the board learning loss due to school shutdowns / at home learning during covid. Those were foundational years. In addition, while there may be adequate funding, the real question is how that money is actually spent.

That said, the state department of education, school boards, administrators, and teachers need to do right by these kids. This is shameful.

#### Timewas

(2,245 posts)Probably the most sadly pathetic statement on the state of our educational system that I have ever seen. And proof of the failure of the system, seriously doubt that is an isolated condition.

#### LiberaBlueDem

(1,076 posts)The worst teachers are told they can teach math and that's all they are allowed to teach

He said they tried to promote him but he liked math so he stayed there teaching math.

#### Demovictory9

(32,911 posts)Failure. The "I hate math" group 😔. Lots of resources go into helping them catch up

#### Mossfern

(2,844 posts)and had those "I hate math" students; some even came in crying. If teachers have the time and creativity to teach individuals according to the way they learn it works. My "classes" were small and my students were at different levels. We used programmed learning, and I supplemented with individualized instruction. I even worked with buttons and beans to help those who had difficulties thinking abstractly.

This was one of the most rewarding jobs I've had.

Assessment of learning styles should begin at an early age.

I also must say that I'm totally lost at the newer ways that math is taught and would do poorly myself.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)Yes, because "singapore math" and other iterations is such a waste of time and money from teachers to the kids because it's new, it must be better. /sarc

I watched my sons go through the "new math" in Ohio and it was a disaster for everyone.

#### Ms. Toad

(34,992 posts)And not just this article - I sesarched to see if I could find more information and didn't find anymore anywhere else. What was on the test? What grade level? What is meant by profiency - proficient for students heading to college - or literate enough to survive in toeay's world?

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)Here are the schools stats...

basically, less than 1 in 10 can do basic math at grade level

So, yes, it should be alarmist
**High school math, 3% ?!?!**

https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/2023-MCAP-results

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)in the number of students achieving proficiency.

The data do not represent the percentage of students who "passed" the state exams.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)The data are from the school system itself. The 3rd column is proficiency, last column is growth?

In any event, the numbers are impossibly bad...

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)who achieved proficiency (i.e. "passed" ) in 2023 compared to 2022.

From your link:

**Literacy gains highlight promising outcomes for City Schools on 2023 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program assessments**

In 2023, Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) students reached achievement levels in English Language Arts (ELA or literacy) on the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) that exceeded pre-pandemic outcomes while demonstrating growth in math and science.

snip==================================

**Meanwhile, City Schools produced promising district-wide growth in math, a challenging subject area for school systems nationwide following the pandemic.**The district’s growth trend mirrored the performance of Maryland students overall. Student performance trends in science locally also aligned with statewide outcomes.

“Even with last year’s disappointing results, we strongly believed we had made the right investments in teachers and school leaders, instructional strategies, programs, and most importantly, our young people to regain our pre-pandemic momentum. These results only reinforce that belief,” said Sonja Brookins Santelises. “We are committed to continuing work that accelerates our growth curve. We have the right teachers, school leaders, and tools necessary to take those steps.

https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/2023-MCAP-results

#### Ms. Toad

(34,992 posts)The article in the OP (and 6-12 others I checked) had absolutely no substantive information to support the alarmist headline.

This link still provides very little informaiton.

It impies (but doesn't state) they are testing grade-level content. It doesn't give any information as to what counts as proficient. Is there a designated set of skills that must be mastered? What are those skills? Is proficiency measured by % correct? If so - what is the level designated as proficiency?

You reference High school math - 3%, but there is nothing in the report which sets out high school math as a content area.

#### Silent3

(15,909 posts)I really doubt they tested fifth graders on tensor calculus, then complained about how badly they did. I doubt they were expecting students to calculate square roots in their heads to ten decimal places.

The tests were probably just basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, understanding fractions and percentages, maybe a little very basic geometry, algebra, and set theory at higher grade levels.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)I've the results FROM THE SCHOOL DISTRICT in the post further down

I'm surprised at the push back - especially here at DU - that there's a problem, or because it was on the crazy right news that somehow, what, we should dismiss this?

#### Ms. Toad

(34,992 posts)Isn't substance.

I taught math and computer science for 11 years, and I spent the last decade of my teaching career helping to prepare students to master a test of minimum competency. Notice that I did not say achieve minimum competency - I said master a test of minimum competency. The two are very different.

At to math, there are many discrete skills to be mastered. I have not been able to find even a basic description of the skills being tested, let alone how they are being tested. Is each skill being tested discretely, or does a student have to master multiple skills to get a question right,?

And beyond that, quality of test questions matters. Ohio implemented grade-level testing when my daughter was going through the system. The student (my daughter) who later became valedictorian of her class failed her 4th grade competency exams - specifically because of the wording on the test directions and restrictions on teachers interacting with students when something has obviously gone wrong. When scores on the 6th grade exams (generally - unrelated to my daughter's scores) were low I reviewed the published math and physical science questions (the areas I am certified to teach) to see what was going on. A significant number of the questions had no correct answers, and several were ambiguous). Some of the answers the test wanted required students to believe information which was incorrect - and would need to unlearn later. For example, squares are simply special quadrilaterals or rectangles (which are themselves special quadrilaterals). These relationships are critical to advanced math concepts. But elementary math classes (including some textbooks I have reviewed) sometimes treats each figure as distinct. The better students understand the relationships from a young age, while the weaker ones struggle with rote memorization. So, for example, if a question shows a student a square and asks them to identify it, any of the three answers is correct. So a student answering quadrilateral may have no clue - OR - may really understand the relationships on an advanced level. Both will be marked incorrect on some of the tests I have reviewed.

Test scores are only relevant when tied to what they are testing. Especially in math, science, and the law I have a lot of direct experience in test outcomes not telling an accurate story. In those instances, scores on exams are more a reflection of test-taking skills than mastery of substance. And, I don't recall ever seeing such alarmist headlines without some sense is what is being tested (or some relatively easy way of finding it out).

#### Silent3

(15,909 posts)There's only so much unspoken context that's going to make these numbers not awful.

I don't give the benefit of the doubt to the idea that students have truly mastered the skills, but are somehow just awful at test taking.

I've met people. Lack of real-life math skill is real.

#### Ms. Toad

(34,992 posts)But that without even basic information about the tests those numbers tell us next to nothing. Certainly not enough to justify

the alarmist headline that not a single student was proficient.

The context I provided was simply to demonstrate that, to someone with two decades of experience in testing in several fields, the test matters.

That's not too day math literacy is low. It is. But there is a difference between that and declaring that not a single student is proficient in math.

#### fredamoss3

(82 posts)Of course, there is a war against science so I assume math is included. War against obeying laws, war against being informed, war against true history, war against being humane, war against learning, war against most things necessary to an ordered, safe, civil. productive life.

Lots of freedom for guns and greed tho.

#### Initech

(100,758 posts)I remember when Bush said "Is our children learning?". No they isn't. And now we have proof. No Child Left Behind is bad for America. Fox News is bad for America. Republicans are bad for America.

#### blue neen

(12,378 posts)No thanks.

#### edhopper

(34,310 posts)are different from Fox News.

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)It's hard to find a link to a neutral/moderate source that frames the test results story the way the Fox affiliate chose to present it.

**Maryland students see gains in English; math scores remain low, especially in Baltimore, per new testing**

https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-mcap-standardized-test-scores-20230822-5wb7kuyfsjd43d5aouwgxqwzgu-story.html

**Maryland students fall short of pre-pandemic levels in math**

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/08/22/maryland-test-assessment-scores/

===============================

**For anyone who would like to test their own proficiency in high school math, here's a link to a Maryland Algebra 1 (10th grade) practice state-wide proficiency test.**

https://support.mdassessments.com/resources/practice-tests/math/MD1126621_Gr10AlgI_PT.pdf

#### edhopper

(34,310 posts)#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)The school itself releases the actual numbers, so not sure what spin needs to happen.

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)The Fox affiliate headline buries the lede:

Some modest gains were made in state test results. The impact of the pandemic is still being felt and will be a factor in considering test results for the next several years. Educators, however, were heartened by the fact that third grade scores were up significantly, signalling that the effects of the pandemic on learning outcomes may be abating with incoming classes of elementary school learners.

There's a big picture to this story. It's complex.

What headline did the Fox affiliate chose and what headline did the right wing media ecosystem pick up?

In a Democrat-run city in a Democrat-run state, out of the 37 public high schools in Baltimore, there were 13 where no student was "proficient" in "high school math", as measured by the 10th grade Algebra 1 assessment.

Every student deserves and is indeed entitled to a high school education that measures up to standards, but what exactly does it mean to be "proficient in high school math"?

Take the test and see.

https://support.mdassessments.com/resources/practice-tests/math/MD1126621_Gr10AlgI_PT.pdf

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)Does it matter what Fox says, or does it matter how we're failing the kids?

The test? Should be pretty easy to get 70%+ to be proficient since the students spend all year learning it. Me, I aced it, but I spent a decade learning math in high school, college, and masters so not really relevant.

But it's not much different than what my kids are taking now in 9th grade...

"proficient in high school math" usually means scoring 70% or better - a "C" - basically ranking in level 3 or 4 on the test.

• Level 3: Proficient Learner.

• Level 2: Developing Learner.

• Level 1: Beginning Learner.

#### LastDemocratInSC

(3,740 posts)Some may more independent than others but they are owned by Rupert.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_Television_Stations

#### erpowers

(9,355 posts)CBS Nightly News recently did a story about kids who perform fairly well in class, but do not perform well in standardized tests. It is very possible that the kids who did not gain proficiency were just bad at taking tests. How many of these kids just freaked out because they were scared to fail a test?

#### Hortensis

(58,785 posts)for most uses at their age, as in what a "percentage" of something means, but routinely use devices to get answers and that that very real proficiency is not being measured.

But inability to understand well enough to, for instance, formulate a very simple equation is being measured and found to be severely lacking. And that's bad.

Besides number proficiency, education needs to teach people to use their brains to think and reason.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)from the school itself by math class.

Really hard to dismiss that...

#### Zeitghost

(4,197 posts)Are a certain %, for sure. That's why standardized testing isn't a great way to evaluate individuals. But at the group level, especially across a cohort of 13 large high schools, these numbers are very concerning.

#### Happy Hoosier

(7,788 posts)Students do not learn what they don’t care about.

We need to build a culture that cares about knowledge. I don’t believe for a second that this about bad teaching. These teachers are trying to swim upriver.

#### Reader Rabbit

(2,654 posts)I've taught middle school for nearly 30 years now, and last year, most of the 8th graders just clicked through the state test to finish in less than five minutes. They know it doesn't count toward their grade or influence them individually in any way.

Standardized tests are just a way for private companies to siphon scarce taxpayer dollars from cash-strapped public school systems.

#### Wingus Dingus

(8,287 posts)This is why China invented TikTok. It's really paying off for them.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)See how THEY allow the use of TikTok versus how it's used here.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)#### Wingus Dingus

(8,287 posts)#### Kingofalldems

(38,911 posts)#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)but clearly the profession/processes/standards/unions/administrators/politicians/families are absolutely failing these students, even with $2.4 billion for the schools just last year. The finger pointing is less than useless and only serves to defend/support the bubble one happens to associate with and isn't making any meaningful change for the kids.

Math and reading are fundamental in learning how to think and how to solve problems even beyond math, and is critical for a developing mind in K-12.

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)Making meaningful change requires data analysis. Alarmist soundbites that rely on isolated, decontextualized data points are not the way to a solution.

Many would argue that while math literacy is fundamental in learning how to reason and solve problems, proficiency in algebra is more specialized and not necessarily critical in developing higher order thinking skills.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)Last edited Sat Sep 23, 2023, 04:49 PM - Edit history (1)

and those who are responsible and educated in the field SHOULD be held to fix it, no?

isolated, decontextualized data points

These are the actual real-world results from the schools themselves as a whole, of which a subset are horribly worse off, and they're really bad NOT INCLUDING algebra:

]

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)**Literacy gains highlight promising outcomes for City Schools on 2023 Maryland Comprehensive Assessment**

https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/2023-MCAP-results

Two reports concerning the context of the data you cited via a screenshot:

**Maryland students see gains in English; math scores remain low, especially in Baltimore, per new testing**

https://www.baltimoresun.com/education/bs-md-mcap-standardized-test-scores-20230822-5wb7kuyfsjd43d5aouwgxqwzgu-story.html

**Maryland students fall short of pre-pandemic levels in math**

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2023/08/22/maryland-test-assessment-scores/

====================================

It appears that the Maryland State Department of Education is working to "fix it".

Expecting it to be done immediately would be akin to expecting chemical engineers to immediately "fix" extant environmental problems caused by chemical pollution.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)and so what, we should say, "yay! Only 30 of 100 can read, and 6 of 100 can do remedial math, but we're improving at 3%!!!"

So what, it'll take 20 years to be able to educate a majority of the kids going through school? How many kids are victims of this over the next 20 years?

Not sure why you're being so antagonistic to the severity of the problem.

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)https://marylandpublicschools.org/stateboard/Documents/2023/0124/MCAPAssessmentResultsPart2.pdf

https://support.mdassessments.com/

------------------------------------------------

MCAP Mathematics Practice Tests

https://support.mdassessments.com/practice-tests/math/

------------------------------------------------

MCAP Mathematics Grading Rubrics

Holistic Rubric for 3-Point Modeling Constructed Response Items

https://support.mdassessments.com/resources/reporting/Rubric_for_Modeling.pdf

Holistic Rubric for 3-Point Reasoning Constructed Response Items

https://support.mdassessments.com/resources/reporting/Rubric_for_Reasoning.pdf

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)Anyone testing in Level 1 and 2 need remedial help (ie, not proficient), and they are failing at a miserable rate across all grade levels

You seem to try so hard to say there isn't a HUGE problem...

#### lapucelle

(19,355 posts)and the right wing media spread far and wide sheds more heat than light and stokes a narrative that is counterproductive to serving the best interests of children. It is simply more fodder for the outrage machine.

It's a complex situation to begin with, given that federal funding is contingent upon a state participating in standards-based assessment at predetermined intervals based on the common core curriculum. It is even more complicated now, given the learning loss that resulted from the contingencies of the pandemic.

Anyone who is concerned should do the hard work of researching the myriad factors that come into play and then take whatever steps they can to help solve the problem, even if it's as simple as bothering to participate in public comment opportunities, learning as much as they can about local candidates, and then making sure they vote in every election.

---------------------------------------------------------

Other food for thought:

Do you know what the learning standards in your state are?

Have you ever thought about whether those standards actually serve the best interest of the students in your state?

Have you ever questioned whether it's wise to outsource curriculum development or test administration to for-profit providers?

Have you ever considered the impact of the typical parent's financial means to afford tutoring on an a school district's performance?

Do you think students learn best in a test-driven classroom?

Do you think that their knowing that the tests "don't count" in their averages affects student motivation?

Do you think that a teacher who focuses mostly on test prep is truly teaching students?

Which do you think serves primary grade students best, acquiring foundational, fundamental information (like math facts) or learning to analyze a problem to solve it, even if the solution winds up being wrong?

----------------------------------------------------------------------

These are questions to think about for anyone who wants to be part of the solution. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

#### essaynnc

(839 posts)Sure, it looks that these schools are failing their students.

HOWEVER.......

I haven't really seen anything about a solution, except the one offered by the writer(??), Mr. Rodriguez, and that was that obviously funding WASN'T the issue. (Is he suggesting that we cut funding, because, obviously, it's not helping??)

There are so many factors that would go into a problem like this, and even a seemingly straightforward assertion that "funding obviously isn't the issue" is one of those simplistic answers that really has no validity. The reporting came from the local Faux Noose affiliate, i wonder if there is a bias or ulterior motive??

Someone stated that Covid, poverty, and single family homes are definitely part of the issue. Yes, I agree. Well how about class size? How about school lunches? How about the upkeep in the school buildings? How about the leadership of the board of Education and the principals? Is there any sabotage or brain drain going on due to the proliferation of charter schools? How about disparities in funding in inner-city vs suburban schools? And I'm sure the list goes on. Funding is only one part of an extremely complex issue.

These are just some questions that need to be considered before anyone can begin to solve the problem. Fortunately, the United States has some smart people that can help solve this problem if given the opportunity. Unfortunately, illiteracy of the general populace serves and is the goal of certain groups in charge. I've said for years that we can solve our education problems if we have the will to; unfortunately, we haven't made the decision to do so.

Throwing money is not necessarily the solution; neither is not solving the problem.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)but it doesn't change the fact that the kids largely can't read or write by any historical measure, and it's not wrong to call it out just because people want to turn it political.

The kids have a small window of mental development where this is very important, and every year that passes, it throws yet another class of kids into ignorance...

#### gulliver

(13,286 posts)All this budget talk is moot if the job isn't desirable and tenable. If it isn't, the only people who will work in it are "altruists" and people who can't find other jobs at better pay.

You can't throw money at it, in other words. It needs to be a combination of money and community normalization around the value of parenting, teaching, and being a student. And for that to happen, you have to get people who are both wise and care about solving the problems. That's really hard, because people who are wise and care are in high demand, and fools (well-intentioned though they may be) who care are a dime a dozen (but get paid like they aren't because of wisdom scarcity).

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)and totally agree with you.

#### JI7

(89,917 posts)Schools can only do so much but if parents don't make sure they are doing the work and doing well enough then it's easy for kids to not put any effort into learning.

The only solution I can come up with would involve something involving parents being accountable.

#### Jim__

(14,241 posts)The cited paragraphs:

Last school year, Baltimore City Schools received $1.6 billion from taxpayers, the most ever. The district also received $799 million in Covid relief funding from the federal government. And still, not a single student tested at 13 City high schools scored proficient on the state math test.

“So, it's not a funding issue. We're getting plenty of funding,” said Rodriguez.“I don't think money is the issue. I think accountability is the issue.”

The paragraphs tells us that 13 out of 32 (not counting the school in the City Detention Center) do not have 1 student proficient in math; and then tell us how much money is allocated to all 33 schools. How is the money distributed to the schools? What percentage of the money goes to those 13 schools? What percentage of Baltimore school students attend those 13 schools?

I do doubt that the actual problem is a funding problem. But this statement doesn't seem to be directed at identifying and solving the underlying problems. Roughly 60% of Baltimore schools did have some students proficient in math - although it doesn't look like any of them have a good record on that score. What is the difference between the 13 schools with no proficient students and the 19 schools with at least some proficient students? Is there any real difference, or is this just an incidental fact not likely to hold across multiple school years?

I agree that the statistic is a strong indication that the Baltimore schools are failing. The article doesn't really seem to be concerned with identifying and solving the problem. The response from the Baltimore City schools does point to previous chronic under-funding as being at least partially responsible for the problem.

#### Dyedinthewoolliberal

(15,749 posts)I am old now, so this goes way back. As an adult I came to understand learning styles and the way information is communicated. Now that I'm in my 70's, I'd like to give algebra, calculus and trig another go. But the question still remains, for me, how can I use this in my daily life? I don't think there is much call for it. There certainly is a need for engineers et al to be proficient in this subject. But the rest of us?

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)many of these classes weren't advanced, but to your point having taken just about every level math for my degree, it does train your mind in how to think, conceptualize and problem solve (of course not to say this is the only way).

I mean, geometry class helps in home repair, but not knowing arctan and trig is well and good

Algebra teaches relationships, good, but calculus leans way towards a specialized degree

So you have a really good point

#### Happy Hoosier

(7,788 posts)I use my understanding of math almost daily. I AM an engineer, but I’m talking in my daily life. While I don’t think everyone needs trig and calculus (and high school generally doesn’t require it), algebra is kind of a fundamental skill…. I find that many people who think they don’t need algebra are, in fact, using it intuitively, and don’t realize it.

Beyond that, math is the language of science. And being able to understand it, at least conceptually, builds an understanding in science which is sorely lacking today. It’s easier to believe the earth is flat…. Or that supply-side economics works… if you depend upon someone else to do the math and tell you the answer.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)#### Renew Deal

(82,538 posts)Does the test have any bearing on students grades? If not, teachers are correct to ignore it.

#### BlueIn_W_Pa

(842 posts)1) if the students really know the subject, what kind of system would let them fail for, what, pure laziness?

2) many systems indirectly force the teacher to teach to the test for funding, reviews, advancement, etc - and they are still failing?

#### ecstatic

(33,603 posts)I hope accountability is restored and that the kids can get back on track somehow. In my opinion, it starts with respecting students and holding them accountable as well -- do not assume that a child cannot learn. That is the worst, most disgusting thing you can do. Every child has potential if someone is willing to believe in him/her.

#### MissB

(15,871 posts)Our local paper had an article yesterday noting the numbers.

Funding isn’t an issue in our district. All the kids come from upper middle class or wealthy families, so that shouldn’t be shocking.

Provide excellent wages and benefits to families- real living wages. Make sure that folks don’t struggle financially. Provide excellent early learning opportunities- preschools- that are free.

Pay teachers well. Provide actual planning periods.

Solve all of our societal ills and those scores will increase, guaranteed.

The kids in this district are not extra bright. They’re extra prepared, have great extra curricular activities and sleep well at night because their parents don’t struggle to make ends meet.

Not rocket science. Quit blaming the teachers.