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More Than Half Of Montgomery County Students Failed Math Finals

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The high math failure rate has raised some eyebrows within the school system.
The high math failure rate has raised some eyebrows within the school system.

Montgomery County school officials are trying to figure out why more than half of students in the system flunked some of their math finals.

Figures released by the school system show 61 percent of high school algebra students failed their final exam last semester, while 62 percent failed the Geometry final. Meanwhile, 57 percent failed Algebra 2, 48 percent flunked precalculus. Among honors level students, about a third failed those exams.

Overall 11,000 students failed their math finals last semester out of the 19,000 tested.

The scores, along with pass/fail rates which are normally not released by county school officials, were only revealed after parents in Rockville begin comparing student grades and sharing data. Soon after, members of the Rockville PTSA asked county school officials to look into the failure rates.

Officials are reported to be looking into whether students are being adequately prepared for the tests.

Superintendent Joshua Starr says a work group will meet this summer on the matter. Teaching, student support and alignment between the curriculum and the exams are among the issues that will be examined.

Correction: Another version of this story incorrectly stated Curriculum 2.0 and the Common Core State Standards could be responsible for the recent performance in final exams taken by high school students in the Montgomery County school system. This statement is unfounded, because high school students in the school system have not yet been exposed to the Common Core standard or Curriculum 2.0 in math.

Superintendent Joshua Starr strongly suggests that Curriculum 2.0 is part of the solution, because it will allow students to gain a deeper understanding in mathematics and better prepare them for high school math courses.


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