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


In a message dated 950811 22:31:31 EDT, ach@tenet.edu (Arthur Howard) writes:
> >The second point, and more to the point, really, is a study on atrisk >high school students who were taking a twoyear 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 underacheiver, 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 prealgebra 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 reevaluated at the beginning of 9th grade.
Marge Cotton



