Students not ready for College Math August 2023 (universities, middle school, mathematics)

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The article blames the issue on COVID and students learning at home rather than in the classroom. What's more concerning are statements such as these:

“This is a huge issue,” said Maria Emelianenko, chair of George Mason’s math department. “We’re talking about college-level pre-calculus and calculus classes, and students cannot even add one-half and one-third.”

For Jessica Babcock, a Temple University math professor, the magnitude of the problem hit home last year as she graded quizzes in her intermediate algebra class, the lowest option for STEM majors. The quiz, a softball at the start of the fall semester, asked students to subtract eight from negative six.

“I graded a whole bunch of papers in a row. No two papers had the same answer, and none of them were correct,” she said. “It was a striking moment of, like, wow — this is significant and deep.”

Those are elementary and perhaps early middle school level math problems. The kids entering college today were already long past that and should have been in basic algebra or geometry when COVID hit. Not being able to add one-half and one-third or do basic subtraction -6-8=? indicates a much more fundamental problem before COVID even came along.

There are some excellent online resources for those needing to firm up their foundation in math. Kahn Academy is good. MathHelp is excellent - I was able to rebuild my foundation from the ground up, in about 3 weeks. I would not recommend doing it that fast but it can be done - I did it and got an A in my college math class.

I am not sure which online tutorials would be good for Calculus. I haven't taken Calc, yet, but I feel as though I could pass it with the right study tools.

Note: I was a very poor math student in HS and when I first attended college nearly 40 years ago. But after rebuilding my foundation I now feel like an excellent math student.

..For Jessica Babcock, a Temple University math professor, the magnitude of the problem hit home last year as she graded quizzes in her intermediate algebra class, the lowest option for STEM majors. The quiz, a softball at the start of the fall semester, asked students to subtract eight from negative six.

“I graded a whole bunch of papers in a row. No two papers had the same answer, and none of them were correct,” she said. “It was a striking moment of, like, wow — this is significant and deep.”[/i]..

That's pretty bad alright.

But wait, entering college as a STEM major with intermediate Algebra as your first math class? Not progressing through Algebra II in HS suggests a deficiency in math ability. It wouldn't be entirely surprising if these kids had problems with the question above, and certainly nothing new to hear they're bad with fractions.

However, Pre calc and Calc students definitely shouldn't have a problem with them. This is quite alarming.

But wait, entering college as a STEM major with intermediate Algebra as your first math class? Not progressing through Algebra II in HS suggests a deficiency in math ability. It wouldn't be entirely surprising if these kids had problems with the question above, and certainly nothing new to hear they're bad with fractions.

However, Pre calc and Calc students definitely shouldn't have a problem with them. This is quite alarming.

When you have a shaky foundation in math, you are not going to be prepared to advance to the next level.

It doesn't mean that you are stupid or bad at math. It simply means that you need to go back to the beginning and build a solid foundation BEFORE you attempt a college level math class.

How are these kids doing well enough on the SAT/ACT to place into STEM programs at these colleges? When I took a math placement test at my college, there is no way that I would have placed into college level math if I had not taken an online refresher course.

But wait, entering college as a STEM major with intermediate Algebra as your first math class? Not progressing through Algebra II in HS suggests a deficiency in math ability. It wouldn't be entirely surprising if these kids had problems with the question above, and certainly nothing new to hear they're bad with fractions.

However, Pre calc and Calc students definitely shouldn't have a problem with them. This is quite alarming.

The above was my thought, if these kids are in STEM then there's a problem. Maybe not so much for other majors.

SAT/ACT scores have been eliminated at many if not all colleges for entrance - that removes math evaluation knowledge as a benchmark for college entrance.

Many K-12 school districts, like in San Diego and others, have eliminated homework for being considered as part of student GPA - that erodes math performance in K-12 basics.

And you have educational professionals being swayed to use teaching resources and texts that bias math instruction with, shall we say, bizarre ideology https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Hor1A1Uisis/hqdefault.jpg

Mediocrity seems to be the goal - so, there should be no surprise in the resultant outcome we are seeing.

This only serves to showcase the devaluation of a college entrance/acceptance and completion - companies hiring college graduates are now more aware that a diploma is no longer an indicator of employee potential.

Companies are now having to institute more screening and evaluations in interviews to make sure college applicants even possess basics in mathematics. The cache in saying you are a graduate of "x" college has lost value.

SAT/ACT scores have been eliminated at many if not all colleges for entrance - that removes math evaluation knowledge as a benchmark for college entrance.

Many K-12 school districts, like in San Diego and others, have eliminated homework for being considered as part of student GPA - that erodes math performance in K-12 basics.

And you have educational professionals being swayed to use teaching resources and texts that bias math instruction with, shall we say, bizarre ideology https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Hor1A1Uisis/hqdefault.jpg

Mediocrity seems to be the goal - so, there should be no surprise in the resultant outcome we are seeing.

This only serves to showcase the devaluation of a college entrance/acceptance and completion - companies hiring college graduates are now more aware that a diploma is no longer an indicator of employee potential.

Companies are now having to institute more screening and evaluations in interviews to make sure college applicants even possess basics in mathematics. The cache in saying you are a graduate of "x" college has lost value.

The colleges can remove the standardized test requirement but does that mean that they are offering dumbed down calculus or comp 1 classes or does that mean that they have a lot of new students taking courses that are way over their heads?

Most 4 year universities don't have remedial math and reading/writing courses.

If you need a remedial course you either take it at the CC level or you take it online.

I think it would be way easier to take a math refresher/remedial online class, as opposed to, a remedial reading/writing class online.

They're called Student Development or Student Enrichment.

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