There is no question – math has historically been the weakest academic area in Kentucky’s public school system.
Thus, the Kentucky Legislature’s Education Assessment and Accountability Review Subcommittee (EAARS) directed the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability (OEA) to perform a very extensive study of the situation. The report has been presented to the EAARS for review in three separate parts.
Part three was discussed at the committee’s meeting on December 7, 2009, and it looks like the OEA has taken a very deep look at the problems, which should make the final report a must read for many educators in this state.
However, I was especially struck by a couple of very candid comments made by the OEA briefing team on the seventh. Here is what was said,
“In general, we noticed, um, a kind of a suspicious relationship between district administrators and high school math teachers. In general, um, district administrators did not engage much with high school math teachers, and, um, made some sarcastic comments. Like, one district administrator suggested that there’s a special place in the after life for high school math teachers – and not a very nice place.”
“Some, um, Kentucky teachers lack the actual basic mathematics knowledge that they might need and lack the flexibility in knowing how to approach a problem when they, um, see it.”
No wonder we have problems.
And, hats off to the OEA team who clearly worked very hard to bring some of these issues to light.