June 5, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 10

On teaching elementary math

Letters to the Editor

“How to teach math better”, by George K. Brown, math teacher at Lewis & Clark High School (Spokesman Review 6-2-13), states that “children should arrive at high school fluent in basic arithmetic and some simple algebra, etc.”

A parent told me that her son was flunking math and refusing to do homework or paying attention in class. So I asked the principal what the school does if the student gets an F grade at the end of the year. I was told that the student simply goes on to the next grade.

Conceivably, a student can flunk math in grades 6-7-8 and graduate from elementary school to become a freshman at high school with never learning to add, subtract, multiply or divide. The grade school simply passes the problem on to the HS!

How is this student ever to graduate from HS if new requirements for a HS diploma require a year of algebra and geometry? Don’t you think that Mr. Brown’s recommendation should at least be considered? If not, some things in Washington’s schools need changing, and teacher’s suggestions need be implemented.

W.C. Miller, Jr.

Almira, Wash.

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