Thursday, December 01, 2005

Challenging Young Students in Schools

Eideneurolearning found an article about a school district that has been accelerating larger numbers of middle school students to take high school level algebra, after relaxing the entry criteria from only those who scored in the 90th percentile on exams to allowing students who scored in the 70th percentile or better. This increased enrollment by three times, while only 5% did not meet standards on a state achievement exam. There is also evidence that brains of younger children at the middle school level are better suited to learn mathematics such as algebra better than adult brains.

At some point when I have more time, I will write a good deal more about what I believe is absolutely essential for public education to take the next step in dealing with numerous issues (especially with trying to close the minority achievement gap), and which deals with long-term commitments and collaborations between all levels of schooling, including universities. In addition, the article referred to above also hits on the need to provide intellectual challenges for students. This can take the form of more challenging classes as well as extracurricular activities and competitions.

4 comments:

mark said...

Hey Von,

This may be of interest -re: black-white student acheivment gaps, controlling variables:

http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/FryerLevitt2005.pdf

vonny said...

Thanks for the link, mark. I will check it out!

jo_jo said...

There's some great research on the value of acceleration (and getting the powers that be to accept it) here:

http://www.nationdeceived.org/

vonny said...

Thank you, jo-jo. I will check this link out as well. You may be interested in the carious courses and programs offered by the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. They have a couple thousand accelerate and gifted kids (elementary through high school age) involved throughout any given year. See:

http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/

Cheers,
Mark