Friday, September 08, 2006

Another rant...

Ok, I am a math person, I admit it. I loved proofs, I loved calculus, I loved algebra. I also truly believe that math is one of the most under emphasized, poorly taught subjects in American schools. Math is a building block subject, everything you learn is essential to learning at the next higher level, and when schools shortchange our younger students, they set them up for failure at the later grades, and the if a student hasn't learned the basics, they will fall farther and farther behind. For example, my 6th grader had pattern recognition homework yesterday. This is the same child who never properly committed the multiplication tables to memory in 3rd grade. It was so frustrating to try and help her recognize number patterns that dealt with multiplication... i.e. (1, 3, 9, 27 ...) when she still resorts to counting on her fingers to perform multiplication problems. We managed to muddle through it, but I worry whether in all the help we had to give her in math, that she never truly got the whole concept of looking for patterns. Yes we continue to work with her on her tables, something that should of been done 3 years ago, but its a struggle.

In other news, a little bitching goes along way. We had contacted our schools administration to complain about their policy on qualifying for extra reading tutoring. Today we received word that they had found space for one of our 3rd graders in the program. What would happen to our kids if we were less involved parents?

2 comments:

Dennis Fermoyle said...

Rory, on your last paragraph, I think you're seeing the glass as half empty. There are people who refuse to call public schools "public" because they say they're unresponsive. It certainly sounds like your school responded to you. I think most schools do care very much what parents want. They've just got to make themselves heard like you did. I'm not at all surprised that the school reacted the way they did.

rory said...

I have never doubted that public schools will respond to concerned parents, what I doubt is that they would of taken the initiative themselves to address the issue. I am 100% positive there are students who are struggling more than my daughter who could benefit from extra tutoring that won't get any help because their parents won't challenge the status quo.