Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Are today's students grasping math?

The leading story in education news today were the math results of a national test given to 4th and 8th grade students. The scores of many urban school districts are still dismally low, but my city (Washington, D.C.) saw slight gains. Though D.C. had slight gains, the scores for public school students were still below the national average and the national average are still dismal in my opinion. The test measures achievement on a scale of 0 to 500, with 249 considered "proficient" in fourth grade and 214 "basic." The national average was 239.

So what does this have to do with personal finance? If students can't do basic math, what hope do they have of being able to manage their own finances in the future? From managing money from part-time work, to choosing the right college, to avoiding the pitfalls of credit card debt; youth today face financial-related issues every day. Maybe making math more relatable by using real life personal financial examples will help today's students grasp math concepts that will help them succeed in the future and take tests effectively. Teachers in my opinion have one the most important yet difficult jobs today and I commend all of them, especially math teachers for educating youth. I only hope that the gains my city has seen on this one measure of academic performance is the first of many... Just food for thought for your Wednesday.