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«A Resource Guide for Parents and Teens Developed and Compiled by the Youth Council of the DuPage Workforce Board A Letter to Parents: Your teen’s ...»

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Thompson, Sandra J., Amanda B. Morse, Michael Sharpe, and Sharon Hall. “Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer and Evaluate Use of Accommodations and Assessment for Students with Disabilities,” 2nd Edition. Council for Chief State School Officers, 2005 http://www.ccsso.org/content/pdfs/AccommodationsManual.pdf. (Accessed January, 29, 2010).


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        high achievement expectations for all students, including students with disabilities and students who are limited English proficient.” by Higher Education Opportunity Act (PL 110-135) math works Advanced Math Equals Career Readiness The equation is simple: No matter their background, students who take challenging mathematics courses in high school get better jobs and earn more money throughout their entire lives.

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Juniors and seniors who take higher-level math make larger learning gains during their last two years in ■ high school, particularly in the much sought-after “advanced skills,” such as multi-step problem solving and the application of analytic logic—and students who make big gains on math tests during high school have higher earnings seven years later.5

Three-fourths of adults in the top-paying quarter of jobs took Algebra II.6■

Members of the baby boomer generation held an average of 11 different jobs between the ages of 18 and ■ 42, a trend that will continue to grow with new generations of workers.7 Higher-level mathematics equips students with the critical thinking and analytic skills, as well as the adaptability and flexibility, necessary to navigate multiple job and career changes in the 21st century economy.

Achieve, 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036 Phone (202) 419-1540 www.achieve.org/math-works American employers are demanding advanced math skills.

98 percent of the business organizations surveyed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put a premium on ■ improving math and science in upper elementary, middle and high school, with more than three-fourths placing a “very high level of priority” on improving math and science to strengthen America’s workforce.8 A little over half of all U.S. occupations require a significant level of “knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, ■ geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.” Included in these nearly 500 occupations are about 45% of low skills jobs, about half of middle skills jobs, and over 80% of high skills jobs.9 One study found that the math skills required by electricians, construction workers, upholsterers and ■ plumbers—traditional “blue collar” jobs—match what’s necessary to do well in college courses.10 For example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ test to screen prospective apprentices ■ includes algebra problems;11 the FAA’s exam for incoming aircraft mechanics also includes algebra;12 and the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) Construction Technology Certification curricula includes geometry.13 ENDNOTES Biroonak, Armand & Kermit Kaleba (2010). The Bridge to a New Economy: Worker Training Fills the Gap. The Institute for America’s Future and the 1 National Skills Coalition. http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org/assets/reports-/the-bridge-to-a-new-economy.pdf College Board (2011). One Year Out: Findings From A National Survey Among Members Of The High School Graduating Class Of 2010.

2 http://www.collegeboard.org/OneYearOut Rose, H. & Betts, J. R. (2004, May). The effect of high school courses on earnings. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 86(2), 497-513.

3 4 Goodman, Joshua (2009). The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory Math Coursework.

http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic630262.files/NBER_EducGroup.pdf Finding related to advanced math coursetaking and achievement from Bozick, R., and Ingels, S.J. (2008). Mathematics Coursetaking and 5 Achievement at the End of High School: Evidence from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. (NCES 2008-319). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Finding related to math gains and later earnings from Rose, H. (2006, August). Do gains in test scores explain labor market outcomes? Economics of Education Review, 25(4), 430-446. (p. 445) Carnevale, A. P. & Desrochers, D. M. (2003). The democratization of mathematics. In Bernard L. Madison and Lynn Arthur Steen (Eds.), Quantitative 6 Literacy: Why Numeracy Matters for Schools and Colleges, 21-31. Available from http://www.maa.org/ql/qltoc.html. (p. 26) Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release. (2008, June) Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth Among the Youngest Baby 7 Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey. Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Statistics and Research Center. (2006) Education Reform: Insight into the Business Community’s Views About the U.S.

8 Education System. (p. 6) 9 Achieve analysis of O*NET data ACT, Inc. (2006). Ready for College or Ready for Work: Same or Different? Iowa City, IA: Author.

10 11 National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Construction and Maintenance Industry, http://www.njatc.org/training/apprenticeship/index.aspx.

12 www.faa.gov/mechanics/become 13 The National Center for Construction Education & Research, www.nccer.org 14 See http://www.careertech.org/ for more information on the State’s Career Clusters.

Achieve, 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036 Phone (202) 419-1540 www.achieve.org/math-works © March 2013 math works Advanced Math: Closing the Equity Gap Minority and low-income students are less likely to have access to, enroll in and succeed in higher-level math courses in high school than their more advantaged peers. Under these circumstances, higher-level math courses function not as the intellectual and practical boost they should be, but as a filter that screens students out of the pathway to success.

Education doesn’t add up for too many low-income and minority students.

There are inequities by race. About 71 percent of Black and Hispanic graduates take Algebra II and/or ■ some trigonometry, compared with 83 percent of Asian and 77 percent of white graduates.

There are also inequities by the socioeconomic status of a school. About 71 percent of students in ■ schools with at least three-quarters of students eligible for free/reduced lunch take Algebra II and/or some trigonometry, compared with 80 percent of students in high-income schools.1 The problem is a lack of opportunity, not ambition.

Nationally, only about 17 percent of U.S. 12th graders are prepared for and interested in pursuing science, ■ mathematics, engineering or technology (STEM) degrees; another 14 percent are interested in STEM but lack the necessary proficiency in mathematics. Black students are the most likely to be interested in STEM degrees but unprepared in mathematics (about 25 percent compared to 11 percent of White students).

They are also the most likely to be neither interested nor prepared for STEM degrees among all races/ ethnicities.2 While 82 percent of the schools (in diverse districts) serving the fewest Hispanic and Black students offer ■ Algebra II, only 65 percent of the schools serving the most Black and Hispanic students offer students the same course.

Similarly, less than a third of high schools serving the most Hispanic and African-American students offer ■ Calculus, compared to 50 percent of all schools.3 Advanced math advances equity.■ ■ In college success: Taking advanced math has a greater influence on whether students will graduate from college than any other factor—including family background. For those who go straight to college, taking advanced math in high school boosts college completion rates from 36 to 59 percent among low-income students and from 45 to 69 percent among Latino students.4

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Black, male students particularly benefit in terms of annual earnings later on, with each additional mathematics ■ course completed increasing their annual earnings by 8 percent on average.6 ENDNOTES 1 National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). High School Coursetaking: Findings from The Condition of Education 2012. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Indicator 31-2012.

2. Business Higher Education Forum (Aug 2011). Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow: The STEM Interest and Proficiency Challenge. BHEF Research Brief. www.bhef.com/publications/documents/BHEF_Research_Brief-STEM_Interest_and_Proficiency.pdf

3. The Civil Rights Data Collection (2012). The Civil Rights Data Collection Summary. The Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.


4. Adelman, C. (2006, February). The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School through College. Washington, DC: U.S.

Department of Education. (p. xxvi)

5. Rose, H. & Betts, J. R. (2004, May). The effect of high school courses on earnings. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 86(2), 497-513.

(p. 510)

6. Goodman, Joshua (2009). The Labor of Division: Returns to Compulsory Math Coursework.


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Math anxiety or fear of math is actually quite common. Math anxiety is quite similar to stage fright. Why does someone suffer stage fright? Fear of something going wrong in front of a crowd? Fear of forgetting the lines?

Fear of being judged poorly? Fear of going completely blank? Math anxiety conjures up fear of some type. The fear that one won't be able to do the math or the fear that it's too hard or the fear of failure often stems from having a lack of confidence. For the most part, math anxiety is the fear about doing the math right, our minds draw a blank and we think we'll fail and of course the more frustrated and anxious our minds become, the greater the chance for drawing blanks. Added pressure of having time limits on math tests and exams also cause the levels of anxiety grow for many students.

Some Misconceptions None of the following are true!

You're born with a math gene, either you get it or you don't.

 Math is for males, females never get math!

 It's hopeless and much too hard for average people.

 If the logical side of your brain isn't your strength, you'll never do well in math.

 Math is a cultural thing, my culture never got it!

 There's only one right way to do math.

 Math Myths “Math myths” may contribute to students’ feelings that they will never be good at math because of conditions that they cannot control and cannot overcome.

Myth One – You have to born with a mathematical brain People who are successful in mathematics aren’t usually born that way. Learning math, like learning in general, takes knowledgeable teachers, willing students, and, most importantly, a great deal of time and practice.

Learning math is, in fact, much like learning a language. The symbols and notation make up the rules of grammar and the terminology is the vocabulary. Doing math homework is like practicing the conversation of math. Becoming fluent (and staying fluent) in math requires years of practice and continuous use.

Myth Two – You can’t be creative and be good at math

Can you be an artist, writer, or musician and be good at math too? Yes! Math is found throughout literature, art, music, film, philosophy, and is essential to many “creative” fields. Leonardo DaVinci, Mozart, M.C. Escher,and Lewis Carroll are just a few of the artists who used math extensively in their works.

Myth Three – Women are not as good at math as men

This myth still keeps women out of the field of mathematics. Even today, very young girls may not be encouraged to investigate the world in the same way that boys are. Boys are given blocks, science kits, and construction tools and are encouraged to explore their world in a more mathematical way than are girls. If more girls were given the same support and opportunities that boys have to excel at mathematics perhaps there would be many more high-achieving girls and women in mathematics. For more discussion of this math myth, check out the Association for Women in Mathematics website: http://www.awm-math.org/ Where Does Math Anxiety Come From?

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