A section B1 article said:
Valley eighth-graders who attended a four-week summer class aimed at preparing them for algebra improved in math proficiency by 20 percent, the class's sponsor has reported.An op-ed said:
Organizers are so pleased with the results that they hope to expand the Stepping Up to Algebra program from 400 students last summer to 750 next summer. That would provide a badly needed boost to education, as a tight budget squeeze is expected to cut summer school programs in districts throughout the county. ...
The foundation and others have focused on math and science education, particularly algebra, for several reasons.
One is to better prepare students to join the high-tech workforce.
But another is more basic. The greatest single predictor of college success is whether a student has become proficient in Algebra II. And to enroll in that high school course, a student needs to pass Algebra I, normally part of the eighth-grade curriculum.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla Savage was failing math. Like many of her classmates in middle school, she hated the subject. Stuck in a large seventh-grade class with a teacher who had little time to offer individual help, Kayla was lost among rational numbers and polynomials.I had a CPS worker, Sally Mitchell, tell me that it was child abuse to teach math to a girl. And Commissioner Irwin H. Joseph took my kids away (in part) because I had entered my daughter in a math contest that was above her grade level. He made a big point of it in his judgment.
Her frustration led to a phobia of math, an all-too-common affliction that often starts in middle school and threatens to derail students' future math studies in high school and chances for college.
Kayla is like thousands of students across America who struggle with math. The struggle in California is borne out by this grim U.S. Education Department statistic: Students in California rank 40th in eighth-grade math, a critical year in math learning that sets the path for math success in high school and beyond.
The daughter's school barely teaches math at all. All of the teachers hate math. They can't hire any men to teach, because all men are suspected child abusers. The female teachers are good at certain aspects of teaching, but not math.
We have a lot of Chinese and Indian families in Si Valley. If the schools are bad at math, then they teach their kids after hours or have them tutored. They are not content to just have their kids learn pattycake at school.
I still don't see how Cmr. Joseph or anyone can object to the math contest. The contest was sponsored by the County and open to all students. All except my daughters, I guess.