In a message dated 95-08-11 22:31:31 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Arthur Howard) writes:
> >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.