District Administration July 2018 - 18

BeyondtheNews
CURRICULUM

Teachers test new approach to high school math
Math understanding at the elementary
and middle school levels has increased
over the last 30 years, but has stagnated in high school. In its 2018 report
"Catalyzing Change in High School
Mathematics," The National Council of
Teachers of Mathematics has issued a call
to action to drastically change the way
math is taught so that students can learn
more easily.
Educators must help learners make
mathematical connections-particularly
around the interplay between math
topics and students' interests and experiences, says Robert Berry, the council's
president-elect and a professor in the
teacher education program at the University of Virginia.
"Through this kind of instruction,
students can understand the utility of
mathematics, and also the joy, wonder
and beauty of math," Berry says.
The report encourages educators to

expand the focus of math beyond just
college and career readiness while eliminating obstacles on a student-by-student
basis. It guides high schools in revising
curriculum around essential math concepts that support students' personal and
professional goals.
It also urges the subject to be taught
more equitably by eliminating tracking
of students and teachers. Tracking students often leaves them on "dead-end"
pathways that don't prepare them for
future success, the report says. Tracking
teachers results in the most qualified educators teaching only high-level courses.
The new math
A number of educators-such as Michael Gillen, who teaches algebra at
KAPPA International High School, a
public school in the Bronx-are already
implementing new approaches to reduce
students' math frustrations.

The shift started with a simple question: How can you get students to attempt the more challenging math problems that will be on the New York state
Regents Exam?
"I learned, by talking to them, that
they were intimidated-the problems
involved fractions, which they weren't
comfortable with, or a word problem had
language that was confusing, or they had
a problem with literacy and so avoided
word problems altogether," Gillen says.
He could then hone in on those skills
to help students gain confidence as he
tries to change their relationship with
the notion of failure-particularly when
it comes to students who have failed the
Regents Exam.
"We're trying to build a culture
where we talk about failure as feedback,
give them space to fail, and use that as
a touchpoint for determining how they
improve," Gillen says.
-Pat Olsen

LEADERSHIP

Superintendent tenure
A recent study of completed and ongoing superintendent tenure in the 100 largest school districts shows that the
average completed tenure is 6.16 years, while the current ongoing average is 3.8 years.

PERCENTAGE OF COMPLETED SUPERINTENDENCIES

50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
0-3 3-6 6-9 9-12 12-15 15-18 18-21 21-24
TENURE (IN YEARS)

PERCENTAGE OF ONGOING SUPERINTENDENCIES

Ongoing

Completed

50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
0-3 3-6 6-9 9-12 12-15 15-18 18-21 21-24
TENURE (IN YEARS)

Source: The Broad Center, May 2018

18 July 2018

District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration July 2018

District Administration July 2018 - 1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover1
District Administration July 2018 - Cover2
District Administration July 2018 - 1
District Administration July 2018 - 2
District Administration July 2018 - 3
District Administration July 2018 - 4
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District Administration July 2018 - Cover3
District Administration July 2018 - Cover4
District Administration July 2018 - 82
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