SPRINGFIELD, NJ - During Superintendent of Schools Michael A. Davino’s report at the last Board of Education meeting, he discussed adjustments made to the Mathematics curriculum in the Township’s schools. The Superintendent said the most recent changes in the district’s high school Mathematics program are meant to enable all students to be better prepared for the PARCC Algebra II test.
The most advanced students in Springfield’s school system take Algebra I in seventh grade and Geometry in eighth grade. In ninth grade they take Algebra II. Over the past two years, the pass rate of the advanced math students on the Algebra II PARCC exam has been 100%. Most recently, all 39 students on the advanced track passed the exam. Of the 39, about 23 are staying at Jonathan Dayton High School and the rest are going to private or parochial schools.
Superintendent Davino attributed much of the success to the hiring to high school certified math teachers to teach in the Florence M Gaudineer Middle School. An Assistant Commissioner told Superintendent Davino that Springfield is “…one of the few school districts doing that.”
For those students not on the advanced math track another course has been added between Geometry and Algebra II to more completely cover the necessary content and better prepare them for future Math courses as well as taking the Algebra II PARCC exam.
Those students will take Trigonometry/Algebra in tenth grade and Algebra II /pre-Calculus in eleventh grade. To complete the four year math requirement at Dayton, these students have a choice of a number of math electives from which they can select.
For the students on the advanced math track, they are expected to take Multi-variable Calculus during their senior year.
In New Jersey, the PARCC Spring State Summary Report, Algebra II SY 2015-2016, showed 25 percent of those 74,549 valid scores met or exceeded expectations. The composition was 23% met expectations and 2 percent exceeded expectations. For the rest, 19 percent approached expectations, 23 percent partially met expectations and 34 percent were not yet meeting expectations.
Those taking the test in eighth and ninth grade had higher rates of meeting/exceeding expectations of 87 percent and 77 percent, respectively. Springfield’s rate in that year was 100 percent. The lower rates of meeting/exceeding expectations were a catalyst for the change in Springfield’s Math curriculum.