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We are committed to providing our subscribers with the most useful tool to help students improve math skills, get better grades and increase test scores.

We are also pleased to provide you with the EDU-News section of our site. It is dedicated to delivering up to the minute information from the world of education and technology.
Given the light-speed rate of technology evolution and the growing pressures of global competition, a quality education is more crucial than at any other time in our history.
I will be posting articles from a variety of sources and 'best practices' for using technology as a tool to further the education process.
  For students, I hope to provide you with a single source for new tools to help you succeed.  
For parents, I hope to keep you informed to trends that may provide opportunities to initiate communication and conversation with your children, their teachers and school administrators.
  Thank you for visiting our site.  
  Joel M. Rector  
  Chief Operations Officer  


  Excerpt from: Paying Double: Inadequate High Schools and Community College Remediation  
  Alliance for Excellent Education 08/06  
  Inadequate HS Graduates?  
Because too many students are not learning the basic skills needed to succeed in college or work while they are in high school, the nation loses more than $3.7 billion a year. This figure includes $1.4 billion to provide remedial education to students who have recently completed high school. In addition, this figure factors in the almost $2.3 billion that the economy loses because remedial reading students are more likely to drop out of college without a degree, thereby reducing their earning potential.
Of those who enter high school, only about 70 percent will graduate—one of the lowest rates among industrialized nations (Greene & Winters, 2006). As important, however, is the fact that, of those who do receive a diploma, only half are academically prepared for postsecondary education (Greene & Winters, 2005). A recent study of high school juniors and seniors taking the ACT college entrance exam confirms this; half of the students were ready for college-level reading assignments in core subjects like math, history, science, and English (ACT, 2006).
Across the nation, 42 percent of community college freshmen and 20 percent of freshmen in four-year institutions enroll in at least one remedial course (NCES 2004b). That is almost one- third of all freshmen. Community colleges already bear the greatest share of the remediation burden, and trends indicate that their responsibilities in this arena are likely to grow. For instance, eleven states have passed laws preventing or discouraging public four-year institutions from offering remedial courses to their students, thus concentrating unprepared students in community colleges (Jenkins & Boswell, 2002).
Analyses of students’ preparation for college-level work show the weakness of core skills, such as basic study habits and the ability to understand and manage complicated material. The lack of preparation is also apparent in multiple subject areas; of college freshmen taking remedial courses, 35 percent were enrolled in math, 23 percent in writing, and 20 percent in reading (NCES, 2004b).
  To read the entire article:  
To help children prepare adequately for tests (whether teacher-made or standardized), you can do several things to provide support and create a positive test-taking experience.
  1. The best way to prepare for tests is to study, know the work, and take the right courses.
  2. If your child is nervous at test time, ask her teacher for tips on helping her relax.
  3. Make sure that your child is in school during the testing sessions. Do not plan any doctor or dental appointments on test dates.
  4. Make sure that you are aware of your child’s performance and that you can help interpret the results when they become available.
  5. Remember to keep well informed about your child's tests. Know how test results are used, and how they will affect your child's placement in school.
  6. If there are major differences between standardized test scores and school grades, find out why.
  7. Encourage your child to study over a period of time rather than "cram" the night before.
  8. Encourage your child to listen carefully to all test-taking directions given by the teacher and to ask questions about any directions that are unclear.
  9. See that your child gets his/her regular amount of sleep before the tests and is well rested.
  10. Make sure that your child eats his/her usual breakfast on the day of the test. Hunger can detract from a good test performance.
  11. Encourage your child to do his/her best.
  Brought to you by the American School Counselor Association  
  Excerpts from:  
  The Moulton Advertiser 01/03/07  
  Teach teens that math counts daily  
Many parents may admit math was not their favorite subject in high school. Many may also admit that math now plays an important role in their lives and careers and will be necessary for their own children’s futures.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2014, 6.3 million jobs will require science, engineering or technical training – 24 percent more than in 2004. These statistics show that today’s middle and high school students will need a strong math background to be competitive in the job market.
Spending time with teens to make math relevant to them now can help them build strong math competencies to achieve success later. So how can parents engage their teens in math-focused activities that both can enjoy?
  1. Make It Real  
  • Show how math is used everyday.
  • Have your teen measure out the ingredients and ask questions on measurements.
  • Need to pay the bills? Have them do the math to calculate balances and budgets.
  • Is your teen driving? Calculate insurance rates, monthly gas expenses and maintenance costs.
  2. Take a Trip  
  • When traveling on a family vacation or simply exploring the sights around town, visit math and science exhibits in museums, learning centers, colleges or zoos to show how math relates to teens’ interests and hobbies.
  • Ask your teen to create the day’s agenda, calculate the shortest walking or driving routes to visit the attractions, or figure out currency exchange rates.
  3. Test the “Truth”  
  • Show teens how to challenge what they are told by analyzing facts and figures in the media and on the Internet.
  • Challenge them to re-create the statistics used to support each side of a debate, or to double-check the charts and graphs for accuracy.
  4. Take the Maximum  
  • The requirement for a strong math background is no longer just for engineers and scientists. Parents must plan ahead to ensure that their teens are prepared, no matter what career they choose.
  Just like English and reading, math coursework builds on concepts learned in earlier grades.  
  • Know what math courses the schools offer and encourage teens to take classes that challenge them every year, regardless of their school’s minimum requirements.
By working with teens to show how math is relevant every day, parents can help ensure their children’s personal and professional success in the future.
  Excerpts from:  
  eSchool News Online 01/15/07  
  NCLB Meetings  
President Bush pushed for renewal of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law in a private meeting with congressional leaders on Jan. 8, 2007, but was noncommittal on their request for more money to help schools meet the law's requirements.
NCLB seeks to ensure that all children can read and do math at grade level by 2014, which has placed many new demands on schools. The law calls on schools to step up testing, boost teacher quality, and pay more attention to the achievements of minority children.
Education Secretary Margaret Spellings listed a few areas of concern that came up during the Jan. 8 meeting. They included how to test special education and limited-English speaking students, a desire to give schools credit for progress even when they fall short of annual targets, and ways to get more students access to free, high-quality tutoring.
Spellings also indicated she was willing to consider providing financial incentives to states that want to align their standards with more rigorous ones in place elsewhere. The administration, and Republicans generally, have consistently resisted anything that resembles national standards dictating what students across the country should know and learn.
She also reaffirmed the administration's view that the law, which focuses on early and middle grades, should be expanded in high schools.
COMMENT: Isn’t it time for a serious national debate on how we fund education and creation of a single set of National standards?
  Here's a quick roundup of tech tools that schools are using to boost communication.  
  Subscription News Services  
Representing the ultimate in news you can use, online subscriptions let parents and others choose the information they want to receive; from lunch menus to curriculum initiatives and school closings.
Digitizing video isn't just for local television news stations. School leaders are extending the reach of their district cable television shows and video productions by posting them online, usually found on district or school websites.
Enthusiastically embraced by students (think iPod!) and pioneering teachers, podcasts are just beginning to catch on among school professionals. Simple to produce, podcasts, basically digital radio broadcasts, represent a powerful new communication tool for schools. While digitizing video and online subscription news services require considerable technical skill, podcasting simply requires a telephone and a service provider to translate recordings into an MP3 (audio) file.
Parenting tips, college admission information, superintendent Q&As, staff media interviews and business leader roundtables all are fodder for podcasts.
Web-based diaries, discussions and activity logs are gaining ground as a mainstream communication tool. Principals, teachers and other school-based personnel are now using them to communicate with parents and share ideas with colleagues. You don’t need any technical expertise to create your own blog. (Go to to see how easy it can be!)
Short and sweet, eNewsletters are written and designed for skimmers who will read headlines, subheads and maybe a sentence or two before moving on to the next item. Readers who want more information can simply click on the link for the rest of the story.
  Voice, email and text broadcasts  
Schools and districts across the country have embraced voice, email and text broadcasting systems, especially for emergency communications.
  Online surveys and polls  
Online surveys and polls serve as a powerful communication tool to let your school and district administrators know how you feel. Use them!
  Excerpts from:  
  Arithmetic Problem: New Report Urges Return to Basics In Teaching Math  
  New York Times 9/12/06; Page A1  
The nation's math teachers, on the front lines of a 17-year curriculum war, are getting some new marching orders: Make sure students learn the basics.
In a report to be released today, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which represents 100,000 educators from pre-kindergarten through college, will give ammunition to traditionalists who believe schools should focus heavily and early on teaching such fundamentals as multiplication tables and long division.
Nearly 80 teachers and other experts spent 18 months writing and reviewing grade-by-grade guidelines, which cover pre-school through eighth grade. The panel aims to give a roadmap to instructors, schools systems and states about exactly what children should be learning -- and to start a debate that could put the math wars to rest.
A recent study by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Washington nonprofit group, found that only twenty-four states specified that students needed to know the multiplication tables.
  Succeed in: Math!® software provides an opportunity for building a strong foundation in mathematics.  

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