They Won’t Need Math, Anyway

I came home from work last night in a nearly blind fury. One of my students tried to get out of doing his work by claiming it didn’t matter if he flunked the math section of the state’s new graduation exam. I didn’t let him off the hook, but after he left, I asked my director about it.

To my great horror, she told me that the governor decided to waive the math section of the test this year because over 60% of the students failed it. Even better, she’s considering waive it for the next three years.

I was furious. I was almost in tears by the time I got home. Rather than immediately start addressing the fact that students can’t pass a test with no fractions on it, students are being told it’s all right to not be good in math. Rather than stepping up math education in this standards-weak, integrated-math-program cursed state, children are being allowed to be left behind. We worry about the reading level of our children, but in the end, it’s the math, science, and technology levels that are going to cost us dearly. Yes, reading literacy is a big part of all of that, but so is math. We’re doing these kids a huge disservice!

And to think, we wonder why math education has become such a problem in this state. Or even in the country.

I suppose the upside is that I will never run out of work as a math tutor capable of teaching algebra, geometry and basic trig.


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