Date: Aug 13, 1995 9:07 AM
Subject: Re: Arithmetic & Algebra Correlation

In a message dated 95-08-11 22:31:31 EDT, (Arthur Howard)

>The second point, and more to the point, really, is a study on at-risk
>high school students who were taking a two-year Algebra 1 course. Paul
>Kennedy of Southwest Texas State U. did the study. He correlated the
>students' arithmetic ability and algebra ability. The correlation was
>-0.06, which is clearly contrary to the beliefs of many educators.

From a personal perspective. I would have to agree with Dr. Kennedy's
findings. As the ultimate under-acheiver, I was not permitted to take Algebra
until ninth grade at which point my arithmetic skills and GPA improved
dramatically. In Jr. High School, I had been placed in the average track by
virtue of having flunked grade school. Aptitude tests would have placed me in
a higher track. Acheivement tests placed me at a Senior high school level.
The problem - boredom with endless concrete drills. In a class of 12 ninth
grade pre-algebra students last year, I noticed several similar cases -
students who were obviously ready for Algebra. A rigid school structure had
closed the Algebra door to them for another year because of an 8th grade
teacher's recommendations. It is too bad they couldn't have been re-evaluated
at the beginning of 9th grade.

Marge Cotton