Director of Curriculum and Technology John Piccarella and Math and Science Chairperson Joseph Cangemi informed both parents and board members about wholesale changes to the way their children are taught math at Tuesday night's East Rockaway Board of Education meeting.
Since the No Child Left Behind act was passed in 2003, state test scores across the country have risen. However, the testing of children on both a national and international scale has not shown the same type of positive results, according to Piccarella.
“Something is wrong with the state tests if the students seem to be improving on state tests, but on other measures they are not,” Piccarella said.
New York State has adopted the new federal standards, which will put a larger emphasis on measuring students across national lines, instead of within individual states, according to Piccarella.
As part of the new math standards, grades will focus more heavily on specific individual topics each year, instead of a smattering of different areas. This will allow students to become more “fluent” in each individual area, according to Cangemi.
From kindergarten to fifth grade, students will concentrate on “basic operations with whole numbers, fractions, and decimals.” In middle school, algebra, geometry, and statistics will be emphasized, according to the presentation.
Similar to the new standards in english, math students will be asked to focus on the critical analysis of the subject and less on simple memorization. This was done in an effort to increase the rigor of each grade level and appeal to a wider range of learning styles, according to the presentation.
In high school, students will apply math to issues and challenges in the real world, according to Cangemi.
The standards have already begun to be implemented in kindergarten and first and second grades. They will be brought into all other grades in September. By 2014, national assessments are expected, according to Piccarella.
The board adjourned 20 minutes following the presentation, approving five contracts, two donations, a tuition agreement with the Seaford Union Free School District, and the 2012-13 district calendar. They also accepted the Corrective Action Plan presented by R.S Abrams LLP “regarding the External Audit for the fiscal year 2010-11.
The board urged residents to attend Thursday night’s presentation on the findings of a hired consultant in regards to the (also known as The Princeton Plan) at . The board says they will be asking the consultant “a lot” of questions in regards to the feasibility of the plan. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m.