Policy experts worry students will fall short of the state’s future workforce needs. Educators hope the new curriculum will help them.
While the teaching approach is different, the intent ultimately continues to be helping students do better on the math portion of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. Last summer’s results showed that Texas students have still not caught up to the math scores they had in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Forty-five percent of students who took math in third through eighth grade or Algebra I last year passed the STAAR test. While their math scores represent a slight increase from last year, they are still 7 percentage points behind the state average in 2019.
Texas won’t know how well Eureka Math is working until later in the year, when the next STAAR results are released, but there is optimism. About 400 other Texas school districts, both private and public, are using the curriculum. Across the country, districts that have adopted the curriculum have seen scores improve. Dallas ISD piloted the program at Anson Jones Elementary before adopting it districtwide and found that students’ math scores and confidence in their handling of the subject went up.
Experienced teachers lead to increased student achievement, according to the Learning Policy Institute, an education policy think tank. But during the last school year, 28% of new teachers hired in Texas did not have a certification or permit to teach, and 13% of all teachers left the profession. Both figures represented historic highs.
A new way to learn
“It’s about trusting the process. Trusting that the kids will learn,” he said. “But we have to be consistent.”
Source: Texas Tribune BY Brian Lopez
Photo: Third grade teacher Eran McGowan works through math problems with his students at the Eddie Bernice Johnson STEM Academy in Dallas on Feb. 5. Credit: Azul Sordo for The Texas Tribune