New Flash: Math Still Sucks

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New Flash: Math Still Sucks

Dominik Harper, Writer

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To us high school students, there’s one thing a majority of students can agree on; math can be difficult. To put things in perspective, Math Teacher Dora Matthews said, “ Math is a whole lot of effort when it comes down to it. The problem I see most in my classes is that kids put a set amount of effort into the homework.” One thing the average high school student lacks, is an abundance of effort.

Talking to one of the higher math students (Calc A/B), Senior Patrick Flannery had this to say about the topic, “I’ve always kind of liked math, I’ve never really thought of it as difficult, more so as challenging.” Some pointers Patrick gave out, were, “Ask questions if you actually need help. There’s no shame in asking if you don’t understand. I even had a tutor come help me occasionally when I didn’t understand the material. A big thing I do, is do the homework almost immediately as I get home, and even more so during sports, like when I do track and field.”

During a discussion, Senior Erik Petersen had his take on math, by saying, “I think math is pretty okay, it for sure can have it’s difficult moments, but I generally just do the homework and look at the test review and I get along. Essentially if you just study you should be okay,” In which Senior Zoe Owens replied, “Unless the individual is just bad at math. Not everyone is gifted in the traditional sense of the word, ‘smart’.” Later in the same discussion, there was talks about personal finance and accounting qualifying as a math credit. Senior Josh Mangus said, I think accounting is a good class, because you’re still managing numbers, and the class teaches necessities for every day life, and I assume Personal Finance does the same.” This discussion between the three, and Patrick, shows the importance of reviewing their work.

According to the graphs on the Olympia School District website, the proficiency rate of mathematics in Washington is only 13% by grade eleven. This is partially skewed by the number of opt outs for the last state test given for these Juniors. However, the amount of people who did take it, according to the district released data, didn’t do too well.

Ms. Matthews went on to say, “Another issue I see, is kids miss school. When you miss school, you get a day behind on material. When that happens, it takes even more effort trying to catch up.”

The test scores in Washington isn’t the only issue, the biggest concern lies with the scores across the United States. The amount of kids who performed over the “proficient” mark, was only around 26%, which is unchanging compared to years past. One might think to themselves, “It’s not changing, so we’re doing alright.” But there’s a problem with that; we aren’t improving. What can we as the student body do, even a little bit, try and improve test scores across the board?

To answer the question above, a student must ask themselves, “How am I performing?” or questions such as, “How may I help my peers?” These are the questions we need to ask ourselves to improve the understanding of mathematics amongst the students across the board.

Whichever way we look at it, whether you’re an easy going math student, who just flies right through, or a struggling student, we need to help one another.

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