Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Math Teacher Asks---

This Jan. is last Math A exam as transition has begun (last June) to new Math regents Sequence. So far it is an unmitigated disaster in NYC. This is due to the poor preparation of most incoming students, more difficult material, and only two terms to learn the Integrated Algebra Regents curriculum. I wonder how others feel.


  1. Dear Math Colleague,

    Truth is the situation you describe is but section of a fractal*: Every mathematics teacher from middle school on up is pretty much in the same situation. So are our math colleagues in the City Colleges.

    Which is why it never ceases to amaze me that the school administration gets away with all the PR that’s in the media and plastered on subway cars.

    Lies in the media, immoral marketing, and distorted statistics take the place of real service and real solutions.


    I suspect it will only increase under the leadership of Obama/Duncan until people wake up, if they ever do.

    * Fractal: a geometric pattern that is repeated at every scale and so cannot be represented by classical geometry

  2. The regents grades in my school were pretty good. That is what happens when you only require 34% to pass.

    The big problem is that the kids go on knowing nothing. I'm teaching geometry this term to kids who can't solve simple algebraic equations.

    We are producing a nation of illiterates and no one seems to care. The DOE has the nerve to post signs all over the subway how we are moving ahead, what garbage.

    Why isn't the news picking up on any of this?

  3. I work in an alternative school where kids have had many years of interrupted schooling in addition to a multitude of legal issues. And yup, I'm having them take the Integrated Algebra Exam in a few days. It's ridiculous since there really wasn't enough time to prepare but since our school is technically a transition program, it's all about getting them to sit for exams and hoping they'll pass and move onto another school. Why isn't there anything in the news about kids so far behind they really are just being shuffled along? Why is it OK to do this to kids who have had so many issues? It seems like the neediest kids REALLY get left behind.

  4. hate to tell you all this is goign on all over the country...
    Make sure you have long term care because
    God help us when these kids have to care for us....

  5. Cohort12:
    I bet there's still of a hell of lot of work to do in division and times tables. As for fractions? Oy!

    So I wonder how algebra looks to them?


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