Reason for Virginia’s Below Average Math Scores

By Hoppy Kercheval 

Last month, the state Department of Education released the first “Balanced Scorecard” to provide a snapshot of how public school students are performing and to provide a baseline from which to measure future progress.

The math scores were terrible. Eighty-eight percent of the state’s 116 high schools were rated “substantially below the expected level set by the State Board of Education.  Middle and elementary school students preformed a little better, but not much.

One of the issues is the shortage of qualified math teachers.  State School Superintendent Dr. Steve Paine revealed on Talkline last week that nearly one-third (30 percent) of algebra classes are taught by teachers not certified in that discipline.

To his credit, Paine has not tried to spin the bad news. Instead, he and his team have put together a five-year plan to reverse the disturbing trend. Here are some of the highlights of the Math4Life campaign:

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