The grades and test scores of students in the United States is a growing concern. One subject of great importance is mathematics. Most high growth jobs in America require math skills. The US recently ranked 26th out of the top 30 industrialized nations in math and 19th in science. This does not bode well for the future employment prospects of American students. The public education system in America is currently under much scrutiny. Organizations that are concerned with the state of math scores in the United States have championed the importance of recruiting, training, and retaining qualified math teachers. In some areas of the country, programs are now in place to support outstanding math teachers who are already in the classroom. Dedicated teachers may use such a program to earn a master’s degree in mathematics education.
Due to the high incidence of social promotion, the passing of students who should not have passed, struggling math students are often placed in classes that they are not prepared for. Students who have difficulty with basic arithmetic in elementary and middle school may find themselves pushed into classes that they should not be placed in. Some states have adopted “Algebra for all eighth graders” policies. While the expectation is that these students take Algebra, the goal should be that students learn Algebra. Such policies have made it difficult for many underprepared students to succeed in school. Many low achieving math students in high school are actually in advanced math classes.
The test scores of students in big city school districts once lagged far behind districts in suburban and rural areas. Today, however, according to the Brown Center Report on American Education, many big city school districts have made significant gains and are closing the gap. One possible influence is the No Child Left Behind Act. One component of this Act, the Supplemental Educational Services, provides free academic assistance to children in low income families and underperforming schools who need help in subjects such as Math and English.
There are now tutoring organizations that partner with the Department of Education and the school districts of the students that they assist. Advancements in technology have given students the opportunity to receive online math tutoring at any time, including nights, weekends, and during the summer. With highly qualified math teachers, parental involvement, and educational assistance, American students can reach their potential and achieve academic success.