Wednesday, September 13, 2017


The Not-Yet File

This week I had a chance to open up the not-yet file and pull something out.  You’ve probably done it, too.

The not-yet file is my shorthand for the mental spot that I put ideas that I’m pretty sure will come in handy at some point, but for which the stars haven’t aligned yet.  Like any good file, it has multiple subfiles:

Then, there are the trickier cases:

I’m sure there are more.  Wise and worldly readers, what does your not-yet file look like?

Mine is centered on a classroom that will seat comfortably the typical max number of students our admins want in a classroom, to enable active learning and other kinds of interaction. Our larger rooms are laid out with tiered lecture seating and our regular rooms are designed for a fraction of what we cram into them. None are designed for the 1990s, let alone 2020, but the sunk costs are enormous and there is no money at all to replace them. A donor like you got would help!

Regarding four years of math, what you will get are four years of "math".

Apart from STEM-sequence classes, it will be pablum that guarantees passing. The only upside is that those kinds of classes might slow the loss of skills. Your wish only comes true if the last two years are actually developmental math classes that culminate in a solid intermediate algebra (8th to 9th grade math) class for graduating seniors that has an exit exam like your placement test.
What would your grad rates look like if every CC student, regardless of major or aptitude, had to pass a math class every term they were enrolled with you? Alternately, what would those "math classes" start to look like in terms of rigor once you noticed the grad rate problems?

That's pretty much why states don't require 4 years of math in high school. It would give no margin of error for anyone to ever fail a math class and still graduate.

My state requires three years of math, but also requires that only one of those years can be Algebra 1 and the other two have to be higher level than that. Many students fail at least one math class in high school, at least every place I've taught.
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