Indiana High School Math Teaching

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A Research Paper of
Indiana High School Math Teaching
Eddie B. Vann Jr.
English 122
Bernadette Anayah
August 9, 2010

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth."”  ~Dan Rather This research paper was written to educate you and myself on various topics on becoming a high school math teacher. I enrolled at Ashford University to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in order to enter the transition to teaching program. This paper has allowed me to acquire pertinent and vital information about my future career choice. My research was done on the status of high school math teachers, as well as students, in Indiana. This paper will educate you on Indiana’s High School mathematics graduation requirements, percentage of math students passing these requirements, teachers’ salaries, and the effect that a minority teacher should have on minority students.

To graduate High school in Indiana a student must complete the Core 40 requirements set by the state.  These requirements were implemented in 2006.  There are four different diplomas that a high school student in the state of Indiana could receive upon completing the Core 40 requirements: General, Core 40, Core 40 with Academic Honors, and Core 40 with Technical Honors (Indiana Core 40, 2006). Even after completing the courses required for the Core 40 High School students in the state of Indiana must pass an exam to “qualify” for graduation.  This exam is referred to as the GQE (Indiana Core 40, 2006 ).  Indiana has added a few nice provisions to this legislation to help out students who may simply not be good test takers, or for those who are ready to work and do not need the required math skills for their work.  These provisions, which are found on the Indiana Department of Education website, are referred to as the “Evidence-based waiver” and the “Work readiness waiver.” The evidence-based waiver is for those students who excel in the classroom, but have a hard time with tests.  This provision, among other things, allows teachers to confirm that the student knows what has been taught in class and that they have kept up their attendance as well.  The work readiness waiver is for those students who have completed the Core 40 coursework as well as a completed a Career Exploration Internship.  This simply means that the student has done the work that was required of them and that they are, in fact, ready to enter the workforce even though they may not have passed the GQE.  Both provisions have provided students additional opportunities to complete their Indiana High School Math requirements. After learning about the requirements to pass math in the state of Indiana I wanted to take a look at the percentage of passing students to see if the percentage had improved since the Core 40 and GQE was put in place.  Since there had been a curriculum change put into place, I wanted to see if the students were being positively affected by this change. Although I could not find the passing percentage for 12th graders, which is what I wanted to evaluate, I was able to find the percentage of 10th graders that passed from 2006-2009.  I found that there was a quite a jump in the percentage of passing students from the year ’06-’07 to the year ’07-’08; it went from 66% to 72% (Annual Performance Report , 2009). However, the following year the same increased percentage did not occur.  Instead the Indiana 10th grade percentage of students passing their GQE went down two percentage points.  The numbers for the ’09-’10 year in Indiana have not yet been released, but I hope to find that these percentages were on the rise and did not follow suit from the previous year. Based on these statistics I am unable to see the impact that the Core 40 was designed to have on Indiana’s High School math students. The new legislation has only been in place for a few years, so there is...
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