"Statway Saved My Life"

Perspectives: In The News
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In case you missed it….

Community college student Catalina Daneshfar had always disliked math and she wasn't earning the grades to fulfill her algebra requirement to transfer to a four-year university. At Pierce College, she got a D in her last remedial math class even though she hired a tutor and begged the professor to let her in. "It felt like I had wasted my time," Daneshfar said. This year, however, she signed up for a new algebra and statistics class, known as Statway, designed for non-math majors. She earned an A the first semester and is doing well so far this spring, putting her on schedule to earn enough credits to transfer to a Cal State University campus next year, she said. "Statway saved my life," Daneshfar said. "At the very least, it saved me from another year of school." The article was in the L.A. Times.

Two alternative developmental math curricula from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Statway and Quantway, that focus respectively on statistics and quantitative reasoning, have shown enormous success. In the first two years of the program, more than 50 percent of students have earned college math credit in one year – an achievement attained by only 5 percent of community college students in traditional developmental math. Cinnamon Hillyard, Carnegie Foundation’s senior associate and director of network development and relations, credits much of the success to a framework called “improvement science,” a model employed by Toyota, where leadership realized the factory floor workers knew best how to improve the process. Carnegie Foundation President Tony Bryk is connecting faculty with administrators and one another, using, for example, an online platform to connect faculty in its network of 50 colleges across the country. The article was in U.S. News & World Report.

And from Carnegie’s DC Office…

In New York, where school space is at a premium, colocation of charters and district schools can exacerbate tensions in a particularly intense way. Colocation among district schools is common in the city, but when charter schools rub right up against traditional public schools, the differences — both financial and cultural — are hard to ignore. Nearly half of city schools face overcrowding, and according to many parents and activists, new protections for charters will only squeeze resources further.

For example, a representative from Success Academy said 14 percent of Harlem 1 students have disabilities. Still, experts say charter schools generally serve a smaller proportion of these children than regular public schools, and that charters sometimes steer kids to different schools if they find them difficult to manage. “There’s anecdotal evidence to suggest that this happens with some frequency,” said Thomas Toch, senior partner at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. “Charter schools are not designed to serve all students…It means that traditional public schools sometimes have to, in the middle of the school year, try to educate kids with a lot of challenges coming from charter schools. The article is from NBC News.

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