Parents at Hamilton Heard that Students Cannot Perform Basic Math Calculations

Last night was parent night at the MMSD middle schools. My daughter is in 8th grade at Hamilton Middle School, so I spent the evening going to her different classes to learn about what the syllabus was for each of her five academic classes – algebra I accelerated, english, history, Spanish and science. She also takes music theater, physical education and family and consumer education.
All was going well – lots of emphasis on content and organization. Then I got to her Algebra I class, which is also her homeroom. Her teacher said he had good news and bad news. Bad news in the third week of classes? Yes. He gave all his 8th grade algebra classes a pre-test that was an assessment of basic math calculations – percentages, fractions, decimals, etc. The average score – 40%!
How could this be one parent queried the teacher. Her child had gotten As last year in math class. His answer: children are lacking facility with the basic math skills necessary to be successful in algebra. Students did not know these basic skills and could not calculate answers without using a calculator.
If you don’t know basic math facts and know them well by the time you begin algebra I, a student will stuggle to be a successful learner in algebra and more advanced math classes. You have to have the basics down. The teacher recommended the book “Algebra To Go” as a review text.