Q&A #3626

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Math Frustration, Puberty

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From: Kathy

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005030409:43:47
Subject: Failing Algeba II, almost

Our 10th grade son was struggling with Algebra II at the beginning of
the year.  We contacted his teacher and set a plan in motion.  That
worked through the second grading period.  He currently holds a "C".  

That was until now.  It's progress time of the 3rd grading period and
we're back to where we started.  Our son failed a quiz.  He wasn't
comfortable coming to us to let us know.  One parent is a screamer,
the other isn't.  He had options to approach either parent & chose not
to.  So, 4 quizzes later & a progress rept., he's dug himself such a
deep hole, it's not known if he'll even pass the course.

It's that time of year where he'll begin filling out his jr. year
course selections.  We have concerns that his failing algebra II will
have a domino affect.  Such as he won't be able to take the next
pre-cal/trig. course or physics.  Without a "C" or better in Alg. II,
he's limited his options.

We've spoken to his alg. teacher.  He recommended he retake alg. II,
but has found most kids get bored a second time around.  We're
thinking pass or fail this course, have our son take a math diagnostic
test to see where his weaknesses are.  Address those weaknesses
through summer school, repeat Alg. II if need be for his QPA and grade
in this class, and sign him up for the next math course his jr. yr. 
It's an agressive approach, but is it the correct way to go?  Should
we have him tutored all summer long, then repeat Alg. II again his jr.
yr. leaving him the summer off, or should he take Alg. II during
summer school, then take pre-calc/trig his jr. yr.?

Not sure what other options we have.  We've asked the teacher to send
home all graded work requesting a parent signature.  This way parents,
teacher, and our son know where he stands without surprises.  He's
currently being tutored at school & at home.

We have made an appt. with his guidance counselor to see if
withdrawing is an option.  This would mean he'd have to repeat it, but
would save his QPA and class standing.  Withdrawal may be too late. 
Withdrawal or failing, even if repeated, we assume would still leave
that information on his transcript.

We're irrated our son just didn't open his mouth and ask for help.  We
had confronted him about this at the beginning of the school year, and
he still did it a second time.  Makes us concerned for when he leaves
for college and gets into academic trouble there.

On top of this, he's of age to get his driver's permit.  Our instincts
are telling us, bring up this grade, then deal with driving.  Maybe
he'll see his errors if driving were to be put off and change his

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