Why is Algebra so important in 8th Grade?

Friday, June 18, 2010

You did it! Town Hall Chamber Room seats were filled and great questions were asked on May 20th. School Board members went home with the unequivocal impression that education is important to Knightdale and Eastern Wake County. Our community members are pursuing step changes that result in thriving schools and leaps in student achievement. Since this forum, meetings have been taking place among School Board Members, Superintendents and town officials looking for solutions. Some of you have expressed interest in following up with School Board Members. This link (http://www.wcpss.net/Board/boeinfo.html) should lead you to their contact information. Consistent, kind and thoughtfully worded emails of inquiry on progress from numerous members of the community go a long way. The emails don't need to be lengthy or complex to be effective. Asking what we can do to help and extending appreciation for support can turn efforts of busy people to our issues.

The next step? We have an Upcoming K100 Educational Forum.

Why is Algebra so important in 8th Grade?
Thursday, June 24th, 7-8:30 pm
Knightdale Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court

If our children only complete the math courses we took in middle school, it could be to their detriment. Mathematics requirements are changing in Wake County to keep up with our technologically advanced world. Experts will share changes in WCPSS mathematics, how teachers are being prepared, how Eastern Wake County is faring and how to insure your children are on track for success. If you are a parent, grandparent or teacher of elementary school or middle school students, please consider attending this important forum.

Items to consider. Simply taking advanced math, such as Algebra I in middle school, has a direct impact on future earnings. Apart from any other factors, students who take advanced math have higher incomes ten years after graduating - regardless of family background, grades or college degrees. Additionally, taking advanced math has a greater influence on whether students will graduate from college than any other factor including family background. When searching for jobs that turn into healthy careers, one will find growth in math-intensive science and engineering jobs outpacing overall job growth by three to one. You may say, "I was never good at math and neither is my child." Consider this. When teachers were asked what factors may influence students' performance in mathematics, 41% of American teachers believed that innate intelligence was more important than studying hard, which was just the opposite of Chinese teachers. Poles show Asian education ranked in the top ten while American education is ranked twenty-fifth in the world. Last year, approximately 40% of Eastern Wake County students, with indicators showing they could have been successful in the course, were actually placed in middle school Algebra I. For the 2010 - 2011 school year, our local middle schools have doubled the number of students registered for 7th grade Pre-Algebra and have asked if the community would provide tutoring to support these students as they stretch themselves. Students do produce greater results when the bar is set high. Nine out of ten high school students say that if their high schools set higher academic standards and raised expectations, they would work harder. We hope to see you on June 24th.


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