From eSchool News, July 10, 2012, by Patrick Welsh — When summer school opened July 9 at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., where I teach, remedial courses in math had more students than any other subject.
That is because of the high failure rate not only in math courses, but also on the state’s standard of learning exams in math. The summer school pattern is similar in most high schools around the country, where kids will be trying to learn the math they never figured out during the year.
I worry that we’re pushing many kids to grasp math at higher levels before they are ready. When they struggle, they begin to dread math, and eventually we lose thousands of students who could be the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. If we held back and took more time to ground them in the basics, we could turn them on to math.
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