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Govt report out on Algebra I & Geometry curricula


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Link to report page http://nces.ed.gov/p...p?pubid=2013451

Link to report PDF http://nces.ed.gov/n...ies/2013451.pdf

Link to news article http://seattletimes....schoolmath.html

 

It is an interesting read.

 

ETA:

another interesting read

"Orange Juice or Orange Drink? Ensuring that “Advanced Courses†Live Up to Their Labels" pdf

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"The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study (HSTS) found that high school graduates in 2005 earned more mathematics credits, took higher level mathematics courses, and obtained higher grades in mathematics courses than in 1990. The report also noted that these improvements in students’ academic records were not reflected in twelfth-grade NAEP mathematics and science scores. Why are improvements in student coursetaking not reflected in academic performance, such as higher NAEP scores?"

 

Hmmmm...

 

Have they never heard of grade inflation??

 

Thanks for posting the link.

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"The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study (HSTS) found that high school graduates in 2005 earned more mathematics credits, took higher level mathematics courses, and obtained higher grades in mathematics courses than in 1990. The report also noted that these improvements in students’ academic records were not reflected in twelfth-grade NAEP mathematics and science scores. Why are improvements in student coursetaking not reflected in academic performance, such as higher NAEP scores?"

 

Hmmmm...

 

Have they never heard of grade inflation??

 

Thanks for posting the link.

 

Ok, but i actually find this mildly comforting. My teen started homeschooling in 8th grade and we tried 5 algebra curriculums and they all failed. finally we started singapore in 9th grade - and i realized he didnt know fractions. we've been taking our time through the series and we are only on book 3A and he's in 11th grade. I stopped after book 2 and used LOF beg algebra as review. but it sounds like its possible that finishing through 4A before starting community college, he might be well prepared after all? compared to others entering there . ..

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I stopped after book 2 and used LOF beg algebra as review. but it sounds like its possible that finishing through 4A before starting community college, he might be well prepared after all? compared to others entering there . ..

 

I don't know the answer to that. However I would get him familiarised with the Accuplacer placement tests (Language Arts and Math) that a lot of community colleges used.

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"The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study (HSTS) found that high school graduates in 2005 earned more mathematics credits, took higher level mathematics courses, and obtained higher grades in mathematics courses than in 1990. The report also noted that these improvements in students’ academic records were not reflected in twelfth-grade NAEP mathematics and science scores. Why are improvements in student coursetaking not reflected in academic performance, such as higher NAEP scores?"

 

Hmmmm...

 

Have they never heard of grade inflation??

 

Thanks for posting the link.

 

I haven't made it through the whole report, but I gather they are very aware of grade inflation.

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Ok, but i actually find this mildly comforting. My teen started homeschooling in 8th grade and we tried 5 algebra curriculums and they all failed. finally we started singapore in 9th grade - and i realized he didnt know fractions. we've been taking our time through the series and we are only on book 3A and he's in 11th grade. I stopped after book 2 and used LOF beg algebra as review. but it sounds like its possible that finishing through 4A before starting community college, he might be well prepared after all? compared to others entering there . ..

 

If he finishes 4A with understanding he should place into either college algebra or precalculus. That would only put him 'behind' if he were doing an extremely math-based, sequential major such as math or engineering.

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Wait a minute. Are you saying you have an 11th grader doing Singapore US Edition Primary Math (or Std Edition) and he is in level 3A? And you are thinking he's not behind? 3 is for third graders! He's eight and a half years behind a standard schedule!

 

Or, is there some other Singapore Math series that is high school level math?

 

OMG, there is NO WAY ON EARTH that 4A could prepare a child for pre-calculus!! Singapore math doesn't cover any significant algebra at all, not even in levels 5 or 6. I could see a mature student going straight into algebra from 5B or 6A/B, possibly, but certainly not pre-calc!

 

TBH, if a student is working at the Singapore PM 4 level at graduation, I'd certainly hope he's not planning on any math related major. I'd assume there is a serious math-disability of some sort, and would have investigated it at great length by now.

 

ETA: Ignore all this above! I understand now that she's using a different Singapore Math series. Phew! Sorry for my erroneous panic!

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Singapore Discovering Math series is for 7th - 10th grade.

It is adequate for the SAT blue book.

 

You can look at the scope here http://www.singapore...secmath2012.pdf

 

Oh, my word, I am so relieved. I thought she was actually talking about Primary Math! I don't know anything about the DM series, but we sure loved the primary books, so I am sure they are just great.

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My 2nd grader already knows more math the. Some of the high schoolers around here. They cannot do long division or regular multiplication....Everyday Math....they have to do remedial math in high-school. You can't do complex math if you don't understand the basics.

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Oh, my word, I am so relieved. I thought she was actually talking about Primary Math! I don't know anything about the DM series, but we sure loved the primary books, so I am sure they are just great.

 

 

lol.. I am sorry.. it is just funny. :smilielol5: I remember when I pull NEM 1 (Another SM middle school series) and showed my DS and told him that he gonna start work on "1st grade" math after he finished SM 6. He was very very pissed..

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My 2nd grader already knows more math the. Some of the high schoolers around here. They cannot do long division or regular multiplication....Everyday Math....they have to do remedial math in high-school. You can't do complex math if you don't understand the basics.

 

 

 

SIL works in Middle school. It is a huge problem with all the spiral program. Kids can't do math when they go to middle school and I think she said the school has to start a separate "prep" math class in middle school for the kids nowadays

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I can't stop to pull the quotes at the moment but I was intrigued by the comment that a significant number of honors courses were not rigorous. And even that a higher percentage of regular classes were rigorous. I'll have to dig into this more.

 

 

I don't use the label on our transcripts bc I think the term is completely ambigious. When MUS labeled their math "honors" when they only added in standard level course work, that made me ???? I think this article unfortunately verifies what most serious educators and admissions officers already know.....

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My experience in teaching intro college math courses led me to conclude this ages ago.

 

Part of the reason that I have been such a curmudgeon about not assuming all courses and books are equal goes back to our homeschool preparation for Algebra I. I collected ten texts--in some cases different editions of the same book. Note that AoPS was not on my radar at that point so I did not compare it. In addition to reading the text, I looked at problem sets. Then I asked my husband to compare what I thought were the two best books in my stack with the standard Algebra I text that our public school system was using.

 

We went with a 1965 Dolciani. I did not call it honors.

 

I

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I haven't managed to read the entire report card but what I've read so far validates some of the difficulty I've had finding math texts throughout our homeschooling journey, right from the elementary level (before AoPS came along, and before we started on Dolciani and Jurgensen...ETA not referring to homeschool curriculum like Singapore, MEP etc) to use for challenging problems. So much of every text is review, review, review!

 

They really need to address foundational levels...you can't sacrifice critical thinking and problem solving and rigor in the earlier ages then try to scramble to change things later or even hope for a change with a depressing report about the standard of high school math books.

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This report reminds me of the time I was doubling over in laughter a few years ago when I read Surely You Are Joking Mr Feynman, where Feynman regales the reader about his experience vetting math textbooks. I don't feel like laughing now though. It seems so sad.

 

That was brilliant. I've had similar reactions reading history books. They can be so simplified as to lose meaning.

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This report reminds me of the time I was doubling over in laughter a few years ago when I read Surely You Are Joking Mr Feynman, where Feynman regales the reader about his experience vetting math textbooks. I don't feel like laughing now though. It seems so sad.

 

I really didn't know whether to laugh or cry reading that. (Though I confess to laughing out loud at the temperature total problem.) it certainly explains a lot, doesn't it??

 

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So reading the report what I found interesting:

They only considered courses taken in high school even though they found about 25% of students took algebra 1 before high school.

I know they mentioned this as a possible factor but I think they glossed over how much effect it would have. When you take off the top quarter of the students I'm not sure what you can then conclude about math instruction nationally. Nor am I shocked that most of the students taking algebra 1-2 years later that the quarter who've already taken the class before high school aren't in rigorous courses.

I do wonder about the honors designation. I wonder on what basis it is honors.

I suspect leaving out the early algebra completers is why geometry has a racial gap to rigor while algebra didn't. The study report acts like a rigorous class is something a student gets as a gift (the verb received is used a lot). I'm not seeing a discussion of students' ability to benefit from a rigorous class because they had rigorous arithmetic classes in elementary and middle school.

Using the chapter review questions for coding the textbooks is interesting. I wonder if there is anywhere that shows sample chapter review pages for lots of texts. That could be useful. But it doesn't seem to take into account different pacing options. For example my Dolciani tms come with tables telling which problems to do for a minimum, average or maximum course. Min skips level c problems while max does fewer level a problems. Still the review chapters would give alert and right limit.

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So reading the report what I found interesting:

They only considered courses taken in high school even though they found about 25% of students took algebra 1 before high school.

I know they mentioned this as a possible factor but I think they glossed over how much effect it would have. When you take off the top quarter of the students I'm not sure what you can then conclude about math instruction nationally. Nor am I shocked that most of the students taking algebra 1-2 years later that the quarter who've already taken the class before high school aren't in rigorous courses.

I do wonder about the honors designation. I wonder on what basis it is honors.

.

 

 

This is a very valid point. Our high school doesn't even offer honors Algebra. The advanced kids take Algebra in 8th, where there is no honors designation yet. If you take Algebra in 9th or later, you're in the lower math track, and none of your math classes are honors. You can move up to the higher track if you get a 95 or above in 9th grade Algebra, but you didn't take honors Algebra. All other math courses, Geometry and up, have honors options.

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Page 37 onwards of this report "Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel" is sad in a way. Page 83 is about issues with the textbooks. I have only skim the report. http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-report.pdf

 

This one compares US and Japan's elementary and secondary math curriculum and instruction http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind02/c1/c1s4.htm

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Ok, but i actually find this mildly comforting. My teen started homeschooling in 8th grade and we tried 5 algebra curriculums and they all failed. finally we started singapore in 9th grade - and i realized he didnt know fractions. we've been taking our time through the series and we are only on book 3A and he's in 11th grade. I stopped after book 2 and used LOF beg algebra as review. but it sounds like its possible that finishing through 4A before starting community college, he might be well prepared after all? compared to others entering there . ..

 

 

I'm pretty sure Singapore's NEM and DM are similar. My middle son did NEM3 in 11th grade and did community college pre-calculus in 12th, putting him is a position to do some sort of STEM degree if he wanted to do so. He wouldn't have gotten into one of the elite colleges that expect everyone to arrive having taken calculus, but there are plenty of engineering programs that accept students who took pre-calc in high school but not calc. If he wanted, to be absolutely sure of his math and he was planning on staying at the community college, he could do college algebra at the community college next year. Both my children tested into community college pre-calculus shortly into NEM2. I don't think your son is behind. I think he isn't on the calculus in 12th schedule, but many students aren't. If you are worried, go down to your community college and take the placement exam. If your cc is like ours, he can retake it again when he goes to sign up for classes. Finding out where he stands now might be a big comfort to you both. VERY IMPORTANT - tell him not to do any guessing. The object isn't to score as high as possible. The object is to find out what he can do right now.

 

Nan

 

PS - I got mine out of public school in 5th grade. I discovered he couldn't do anything. We did Saxon that year, but it didn't improve his understanding (although it taught him the standard algorithms, which was nice) and so we began Singapore Primary math in 6th. He started with 3A and did four levels in three years, making him ready to start NEM1 in 9th grade. I called it Integrated Math 1 on his transcript. Singapore "fixed" him. Hopefully, you will have the same experience.

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thanks - singapore did fix him. He's still not great at making leaps of understanding, but he definitely is more confident and comfortable with math. i still wasnt thrilled with his SAT performance, esp since he seemed to get as many 'hard' problems wrong as 'easy' ones . . . my dd went through the community college route, so i'm comfortable with that. thanks

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I found page 55 quite interesting. It discusses the excessive length of American textbooks (600+ pgs) vs. other nation's textbooks. I had noticed this previously, when comparing Singapore's NEM or DM books with the current version of Holt Algebra. The old Dolciani and Foerster books seem somewhere in the middle length wise. The same thing seems to hold true with the science textbooks I've seen.

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I found page 55 quite interesting. It discusses the excessive length of American textbooks (600+ pgs) vs. other nation's textbooks. I had noticed this previously, when comparing Singapore's NEM or DM books with the current version of Holt Algebra. The old Dolciani and Foerster books seem somewhere in the middle length wise. The same thing seems to hold true with the science textbooks I've seen.

 

Absolutely. Singapore's books are so elegantly simple and effective. I've often wondered why American textbooks are soooo loooong.

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Absolutely. Singapore's books are so elegantly simple and effective. I've often wondered why American textbooks are soooo loooong.

 

 

There are a lot more big photos and illustrations in current books. Not to mention sidebars to make the learning "meaningful." It takes up space.

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Absolutely. Singapore's books are so elegantly simple and effective. I've often wondered why American textbooks are soooo loooong.

 

 

In addition to all the extra illustrations, we don't have a national curriculum, so textbook makers put every topic any teacher might ever want to include in the textbook and every enrichment activity and leave the teachers to pick and choose. Other countries only put in what the national curriculum has decided is necessary. This is part of why it is difficult for homeschoolers to use US public school textbooks. We tend to worry that our children will be handicapped unless we finish the whole book. Textbooks come with example schedules which make suggestions about how to winnow down the material, but they are difficult for inexperienced teachers (us) to believe. I have had a much easier time using math from Singapore and history from France. : )

 

Nan

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In addition to all the extra illustrations, we don't have a national curriculum, so textbook makers put every topic any teacher might ever want to include in the textbook and every enrichment activity and leave the teachers to pick and choose. Other countries only put in what the national curriculum has decided is necessary. This is part of why it is difficult for homeschoolers to use US public school textbooks. We tend to worry that our children will be handicapped unless we finish the whole book. Textbooks come with example schedules which make suggestions about how to winnow down the material, but they are difficult for inexperienced teachers (us) to believe. I have had a much easier time using math from Singapore and history from France. : )

 

Nan

 

 

I agree. Some of them are kind enough to include material in the preface indicating 'optional material' and 'essential material', but many do not. This also handicaps public/private schooled students who have teachers whose own understanding of the material is somewhat lacking -- they don't know which parts are utterly essential for the student to master before they move on and which are nice to have, but will come around again in the next course.

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I'm pretty sure Singapore's NEM and DM are similar. My middle son did NEM3 in 11th grade and did community college pre-calculus in 12th, putting him is a position to do some sort of STEM degree if he wanted to do so. He wouldn't have gotten into one of the elite colleges that expect everyone to arrive having taken calculus, but there are plenty of engineering programs that accept students who took pre-calc in high school but not calc. If he wanted, to be absolutely sure of his math and he was planning on staying at the community college, he could do college algebra at the community college next year. Both my children tested into community college pre-calculus shortly into NEM2. I don't think your son is behind. I think he isn't on the calculus in 12th schedule, but many students aren't. If you are worried, go down to your community college and take the placement exam. If your cc is like ours, he can retake it again when he goes to sign up for classes. Finding out where he stands now might be a big comfort to you both. VERY IMPORTANT - tell him not to do any guessing. The object isn't to score as high as possible. The object is to find out what he can do right now.

 

Nan

 

PS - I got mine out of public school in 5th grade. I discovered he couldn't do anything. We did Saxon that year, but it didn't improve his understanding (although it taught him the standard algorithms, which was nice) and so we began Singapore Primary math in 6th. He started with 3A and did four levels in three years, making him ready to start NEM1 in 9th grade. I called it Integrated Math 1 on his transcript. Singapore "fixed" him. Hopefully, you will have the same experience.

Nan - After NEM2, ready for pre-calculus? I guess I don't know what that is. My DS 14 is finishing NEM2 this spring; should I delegate math toCC now or try NEM3 at home?

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Nan - After NEM2, ready for pre-calculus? I guess I don't know what that is. My DS 14 is finishing NEM2 this spring; should I delegate math toCC now or try NEM3 at home?

 

 

Grrr... wrote out a big post explaining what we did and it got eaten. I will be back later if I have time and rewrite it. Short answer NO. They just PLACED into pre-calc. We didn't send them to take pre-calc until after NEM3 and part (or all) of Dolciani algebra 2. At that point, youngest placed into pre-calc 2 but we had him start with pre-calc 1. If you want to send your son to the community college after NEM2, I would have him start with intermediate algebra. He could probably do the pre-calc but I think it would be a struggle. Better slow and sure when it comes to math.

 

Nan

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A student with good arithmetic and critical thinking skills is likely to place deceptively high at the CC. They can frequently puzzle out problems that they don't actually know how to solve. Singapore/NEM is excellent at building both. This does not actually mean that they are ready for said class. The skills they are able to puzzle through on the placement test are necessary.

 

NEM is 4 years starting after singapore 6. CC math is usually 5 semesters starting at pre-algebra (Some have 6). In general I would say that a student who has finished singapore 6 should take pre-algebra, and move up by one semester for each year of NEM completed. So someone who did NEM2 should probably take intermediate algebra, while someone who did NEM3 should probably take college algebra.

 

My guess (just a guess) is that Nan's community college has precalc1 and precalc2 instead of college algebra and precalc? That would explain the placement better.

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Nan - After NEM2, ready for pre-calculus? I guess I don't know what that is. My DS 14 is finishing NEM2 this spring; should I delegate math toCC now or try NEM3 at home?

 

NEM1 to NEM4 was done for 7th-10th grade in Singapore and what my younger brother used. Additonal Math was done for 9th-10th grade. Additional math is done concurrently with NEM3 and NEM4.

 

"Secondary 1: pre-algebra, some algebra 1 and geometry

Secondary 2: algebra 1 and geometry

Secondary 3: some algebra 2, geometry, some trigonometry

Secondary 4: some advanced topics and review

Additional Mathematics: first half is mostly pre-calculus including trigonometry, second half is mostly calculus." (link)

 

I'll try NEM3 at home and additional math if you have the book. Or get a 2nd hand copy of a high school precalculus textbook to try at home. Your child can do at his own pace at home compare to at a community college.

 

These are some used local to me

"PRECALCULUS with TRIGONOMETRY: CONCEPTS and APPLICATIONS, Foerster, Key Curriculum Press"

Precalculus for Calculus, Stewart, Thomson Brooksâ€Cole"

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That was brilliant. I've had similar reactions reading history books. They can be so simplified as to lose meaning.

 

 

Yes! Ugh, I was reading an elementary book about ancient Egypt recently and they brought up "Pharaohs married their sister" and tried to explain it in three sentences. I was confused, and I actually know the theology and history behind it! Why even it bring it up, with kids no less, and then not even explain it right, is beyond my ability to comprehend. And I didn't see anything in the book that discussed Pharaoh being the son of Ra, so why mention the incest???? grrrrr............

 

sorry, OT!

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