‘Algebra Readiness’ – the Key to Math Success for California’s Students

‘Algebra Readiness’ – the Key to Math Success for California’s Students

National Math Report to President Calls for Schools to Build Solid Foundation for Algebra


SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 19 /HISPANIC PR WIRE-PRNewswire/ — As the National Mathematics Advisory Panel presented its long-awaited report, “Foundations for Success,” to President Bush at the White House last Thursday, California educators were deep into the process of choosing new math programs for use in classrooms over the next seven years. Findings of the Panel centered around the importance of algebra readiness, a priority already identified by California as a new and mandatory program. The State’s individual school districts are now selecting math programs, including consideration of innovative, research-based algebra-readiness courses from Pearson, customized for California and approved for adoption by the state several months ago.

The National Math Advisory Panel’s report underscores the importance of algebra-readiness instruction and validates the direction that California has already taken with its math standards. The California Board of Education is now mandating that students become “algebra ready” by gaining a deeper understanding of multiplication, fractions, problem solving and critical thinking. The report sets benchmarks for math fluency among American schoolchildren who have continued to fall behind their counterparts around the globe.

“We know that for many students middle school is what you might call the Bermuda Triangle of education, where a significant percentage of California’s kids fall behind and eventually drop out of school. One of the top reasons for these failures is the lack of understanding of basic math principles,” said Vicky Bush, vice president for Pearson in California. Noting the findings of the National Math Advisory Panel, she added, “Focusing on algebra readiness with innovative, research-based programs will not only keep students in school, but it will give them the skills and confidence to realize that they can be successful in math.”

Ms. Bush singled out two Pearson programs specifically addressing

algebra-readiness that are now available for California students:

— Prentice Hall Mathematics California Algebra Readiness: An 8th-grade program designed to bridge the gap between basic math and algebra, with a focus on basic algebraic concepts.

— Connecting to Algebra for Algebra Readiness – A National Science Foundation-funded Grade 8 level program, grounded in research and interactive learning styles.

She added that Pearson’s new enVisionMATH for California elementary grades program also begins algebraic learning in kindergarten and continuing on through sixth grade while simultaneously developing the conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills required to prepare students for higher level math.

Pearson’s Bush said that the company’s algebra readiness program focuses precisely on elements and skill sets cited by the National Math Advisory Panel. “Algebra builds on fractions, critical thinking and problem solving,” she said. “Algebra readiness is clearly the area where we believe school districts will see the biggest impact for the money they decide to spend on new programs.”

“One of the critical programs we are offering for California is an Algebra Readiness fixed-term course for students who are not yet prepared for Algebra 1,” said Pearson mathematics author, Dr. Randall Charles, who is Professor Emeritus, Department of Mathematics at San Jose State University and past vice president of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. He is an author for four of the Pearson math programs approved for adoption by California school districts.

Charles links mastery of algebra and math skills to the long-term fiscal health of our economy and future generations. “Virtually all of the research in recent years confirms that in order for our students to compete in the global 21st century economy, they simply must improve significantly in their understanding of math concepts and skills,” he said. “Mathematics is a significant obstacle for many students, and this is no longer acceptable.”

Pearson’s other math programs customized to meet California standards include:

— Prentice Hall Mathematics California – 6th-8th grade, Pre-Algebra, Algebra

— Prentice Hall Mathematics California Algebra I – 8th grade

— Prentice Hall Mathematics California Geometry – 9th/10th grade

— Prentice Hall Mathematics California Algebra II -10th/11th grade

For demonstrations and more information, go to: Pearson’s California middle and secondary math ( http://www.phschool.com/sales_support/CAMath )
and elementary grades math ( http://envisionmathca.com ).

To view the National Math Panel Advisory Report, go to: http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/index.html

About Pearson in California:

Pearson, the world’s leading education publisher, has been providing education materials to California schools as far back as the 1800s. You may know us individually as Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Longman, SuccessMaker, NovaNet, AGS, Pearson School Systems, Pearson Assessment, Learning Teams, Achievement Solutions, and so many more – names in the world of education that are recognized and respected across the State and the globe. In fact, most teachers in California have learned their profession by studying with Pearson’s Merrill or Allyn & Bacon textbooks, and many have benefited from our professional development programs. Today, nearly a thousand Pearson people are living and working in the State, providing educational materials that cover the gamut from birth through professional learning. In addition to Education, Pearson’s other major businesses include The Financial Times Group and The Penguin Group. For more information, go to: http://www.pearsonschool.com .

‘Algebra Readiness’ – the Key to Math Success for California’s Students