Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is out trying to make sure today’s students will have a better understand of mathematics with the new integrated math curriculum. Simon and the Illinois State Board of Education released the state’s first sixth- through twelfth-grade math curriculum in May and urged middle and high schools state wide to implement the new courses this fall.
Simon visited Pinck-neyville High School Thursday morning, which is one of the Illinois schools which have adopted the program.
Simon says the program is about the student’s future and helping have the tools to compete for college and beyond.
“We want to put all middle and high school students on a track for success,” Simon said. “Colleges and employers expect our students to have certain skills, but find too many students unprepared. The tools we released should help educators better prepare students to compete in the global marketplace.”
The program is outlined to include all facets of mathematics. The students would not take algebra one year and the geometry the next; instead the, the different mathematics are integrated.
Pinckneyville High School Principal Dustin Foutch said the high school started the program last year with the incoming freshman and it is working so far.
“Its going really well,” Foutch said, “I believe the students will be more successful in college and have a better mathematical understanding in life when they leave Pinckneyville High School.”
Foutch also said most of the hard work was done by the teachers at the school; they are the ones that may this program work.
“All the credit goes to the teachers they have worked really hard to make sure the students are ready for college when their done,” Foutch said. “There wasn’t a textbook when we first started this program so the teachers had to create much of the program to get it off its feet.”
Pinckneyville Teacher Adrienne Wilson said the students are responding to the program and she gets a chance to teach outside the box.
“The kids are becoming more engaged in the program and started more than they would in a normal class,” Wilson said. “We have out normal standards but then we are borrowing and pulling different things from the internet and other textbooks,” Wilson also said she enjoys teaching this way and the kids will have a good chance to be successful when they graduate.
“I enjoy teaching this style of math as opposed to the older style, it’s not the same stuff everyday and it get the students more involved in the classroom,” Wilson said. “I believe this program will work, these kids are always using a different form of math everyday.”
Simon likes to see the fact the program is working in Southern Illinois and knows that schools do not have to adopt the program.
“This curriculum is more of an opportunity than a mandate,” Simon said. “It is neat to see the program is starting to work in this way particularly in a time when schools are resistant to mandate.”