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Math problems not isolated to Liberty's schools

POSTED: November 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.
During the NAACP’s Oct. 16 candidate forum, a member of the audience questioned school board candidates about the Liberty County high schools’ inability to make state AYP math requirements this year.
The answer to the question lies at least partly outside of the county.
“Math concerns us a lot. The 21st century requires higher-level math skills,” said Dana Tofig, the communications director for the Georgia Department of Education. “Even more so than just 20, 30 years ago.”
So in response, the DOE rearranged Georgia’s math curriculum in order to further challenge and prepare students. Tofig said that because of the rearrangements, the curriculum is much more rigorous and therefore kids aren’t passing the tests right away.
Tofig said that 62 percent of Georgia students passed the math section of the Georgia High School Graduation Test on the first attempt. However, after a little extra time, work and preparation the passing rate rose to 77 percent.
Tofig said these scores indicate it will take time for students and teachers to get used to the changed curriculum, which Tofig calls an integrated curriculum. He explained that an integrated curriculum means that, unlike past math courses dedicated completely to one specific branch of mathematics such as geometry or algebra, math classes will incorporate all types of math.
He said this type of curriculum better teaches students to think mathematically.
“We developed it to be more like how people use math,” Tofig said who encourages people to be patient with the transition.
 

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