Your Views: From the Janesville Gazette- Math education system failing

Your Views: Math education system failing Janesville students
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Letter to the editor
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mathematics education at the high school level in the Janesville School District is weak and ineffective. Large numbers of high school mathematics students are unprepared for the rigors of post-secondary education.

Implementation of curriculum-based assessments and cumulative unit evaluations, and pressure for ACT preparations have negatively affected the high school curriculum to no fault of classroom educators. ACT scores continued to fall for the past several years.

The integrated movement has students reviewing, practicing and taking assessments at the sacrifice of the course curriculum. A conservative estimate is that 17 percent to 27 percent of teaching time in each class is lost. The goal of higher test achievement is not reached because the concept was not mastered in the first place. The block schedule has decreased instructional time annually by 900 minutes per class.

The central administration requires and dictates a timetable. Teachers cannot teach their classes and curriculum in sequential order. Teachers must follow these directives if they want to remain employed. Reinforcement of a skill for a struggling student is not possible because of lost teaching time, and enrichment is non-existent.

The Janesville district needs a change in direction. Taxpayers must seek changes from the school board. This downward spiral should be stopped, or high school students will continue to be unprepared for the future. Do not let the district continue on this backward slide but rather move forward.


Certified mathematics educator

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