Ten ways to improve U.S. ability in Math
1-3. Students must be held accountable for disruptive behavior and disciplined immediately with detention and suspension. When students are disruptive, no-one in the class learns anything. If this one thing were upheld, U.S. math scores would be GREATLY improved.
4. Transfer teachers who are not competent in Math to another subject. Require that all Math teachers have an undergraduate degree in Math.
5. It is not necessary to pay Math teachers more than other teachers. What IS necessary, is to have the workday end by 3 PM sharp every day without fail, and to not require Math teachers to do anything unrelated to teaching Math (lunchroom duty, proctoring, detention monitor, calling parents of unruly students, etc.) You could pay a math major a ton of money, but if their job is not fulfilling and their lives are not manageable, many will leave.
6. Stop requiring Math teachers to have a Master’s degree in Education. It is not that useful and keeps competent people from entering the field, since math majors have many other more lucrative options that do not require an advanced degree. Of course, training in lesson planning and curriculum should be offered.
7. Technology in the math classroom is generally unnecessary unless students are being tested specifically on technology. The high school curriculum is not rocket science. It’s more important for students to understand math concepts and to apply them, than to learn how to use a computer program. Certainly technology can aid in learning, but it should be viewed as an extra, not a requirement.
8. Understand that “teaching to the test” is not all bad. Ideally, students should get 4 days a week of straight curriculum, and 1 day a week of Math games or projects for exploration.
Anybody have ideas for numbers 9 and 10?