Iowa Education Summit
Iowa Department of Education
While reading this article I was intrigued by how Iowa students are not being prepared enough to continue on for more advance math classes while they are in both high school and college.
The article states that,
"Research shows that during middle school students from the foundation to prepare them for higher mathematics requirements in high school and college. Algebra is often described as the "gatekeeper" for advanced mathematics and for entrance into college. Students who wish to take calculus during their high school career, but do not take Algebra I early enough, must find some way to accelerate their academic progress such as taking a math course in summer school. Yet only 29 percent of eight-grade Iowa students taking NAEP in 2009 were enrolled in Algebra 1 or another higher-level mathematics course (Geometry or Algebra II)."
In order for students to be able to be properly prepared they must be given the opportunity. When I was in school I did not take any form of Algebra until Freshmen year of high school, and before that I was taking basic math, but not really preparing me for my high school math. While taking Math Methods this summer, my professor explained how some students could be able to to understand and handle more complex math at a younger age, and that as teachers we should not tell them to just wait and they will learn it in a few years. Instead we must be able to use any teachable moment to keep our students asking to learn more, and to challenge them into pushing themselves into wanting to learn more.
Math is a major area that our students need to be able to succeed in. It opens the doors to many job opportunities. It is never going away. It is including in every day life. In every activity we do. Students need to be able to take more advanced level classes earlier to get them ready for college or their future jobs.
It is up to us a teachers to start this step as early as possible. This will not just allow the students to grow educationally, but it will also help the state of Iowa and how our educational department is perceived by our nation. We must give the tools in order to educate our students to succeed.