South Seattle– The joyful laughter of elementary school students echoes across the playground in South Seattle. These young learners are engaged in a unique math relay organized behind their school as part of a special summer initiative.
School Connect WA, a nonprofit organization, has initiated this summer program to address the alarming learning setbacks in math and literacy during the pandemic. There were 25 students, and all of them were behind by one to three grades.
In this exciting but challenging program, an 11-year-old boy who once struggled to solve two-digit subtraction has started to like maths. However, this was not the case with other students.
The Education Reporting Collaborative highlights students’ math challenges and their progress. It is a coalition of eight newsrooms, including AL.com, The Associated Press, The Seattle Times and more.
The situation is more tense by the “The Nation’s Report Card data.” In the previous year, the scores of fourth and eighth-grade math students had declined to their lowest level in two decades.
Andrew Ho, a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, said,
“It’s a generation’s worth of progress lost.”
Jefferson County Schools in Birmingham, Alabama, are also taking action to improve students’ math skills by hiring math coaches using pandemic funds. They help teachers to adopt the new and easy style of teaching maths to students.
As schools navigate this crisis, they also grapple with the age-old debate on how math should be taught. The debate is going on among education analysts between conceptual learning and procedural learning.
All the collaborative efforts show positive results as math scores increased in most Jefferson County middle schools. In the future, it is hoped that students will catch up with what they have lost in the pandemic.