Change in Math Classes to Prepare Students for College

By Ivana Kosir

Starting next school year, grade-weight-two math courses will not exist for the incoming freshmen due to the School Board’s initiative to prepare students for education beyond high school.

In attempts  to give lower-level students a better chance of getting into a college of choice, grade-weight-two freshman math students will be placed in grade-weight-three math courses, and it will be mandatory to take a second period of math to help the lower-level students with study skills.

Compared to the 64 percent of grade-weight-three students, 96 percent of grade-weight-four students, and 99 percent of grade-weight-five students who are “college ready” according to ACT standards at the end of high school, the grade-weight-two students aren’t nearly as ready for college, according to math director Bob Williams.

“We are offering different options for freshmen. [A large percentage] of students wish to go to college, and six percent end up college ready [in math],” said Williams when referring to grade-weight-two math students.

According to assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Anne Roloff, college readiness refers to a score of 22 on the math section of the ACT test. Research found that 50 percent of math students in college received a B or higher in a first-year college math class if they scored at least a 22 in the math section of the ACT.

By placing grade-weight-two math students in a grade-weight-three math class, students are exposed to more challenging material and fast-paced learning that will prepare them for college and help their study skills develop, according to Williams.

“Grade-weight two isn’t working, and every student can be successful.  This will help students get college-ready,” said Williams.

Grade-weight-three math students won’t be affected by this change, according to Williams.

“We’re not going to change standards for the math classes. People rise to expectations, and we expect [the grade-weight-two students] to as well. If they need extra practice, they’ll get it,” said Williams.

Math teacher Tayyaba Ahmad agrees with Williams.

“[Grade-weight-three] students shouldn’t be held back, and they should be fine. Grade-weight two math classes will be asked to pick up their effort and how much they put into the class,” said Ahmad.