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Simon launches math study 

 
The Southern Illinoisan
August 29, 2012
By Stephen Rickerl

CARBONDALE — Lt. Governor Sheila Simon launched a state-wide math survey Tuesday in an effort to discover innovative ideas to better prepare students for the workforce or college.

Simon’s visit to Carbondale Community High School highlighted the school’s “Essentials for College Algebra” course, which is for high school seniors and reinforces high school math skills that students will need in college.

Simon said visiting community colleges across the state highlighted the need to better prepare high school students for college math.

“For students coming back to college after being in the workforce for decades, there are going to be some challenges built in there,” she said. “But were the students are coming from high school directly to the community colleges, I think we can do a better job, and Carbondale’s one of the areas that is doing a better job.”

Carbondale Community High School Principal Daniel Booth said preparing students for college or a career goes beyond meeting the minimum requirements for graduation.

“It means ensuring students have the skills to effectively transition to post-secondary education,” Booth said. “It's difficult for anyone to take a year off of math and come right back at the same skill level. The Essentials for College Algebra class is designed to help students hit the ground running after high school and pursue their college and career goals while reducing the need for remediation."

Visiting a classroom of students in the college essentials course, Simon told the seniors they made a wise decision in taking the class because the economy is increasingly demanding a workforce with a post-secondary education.

“It’s a really smart investment you’ve made by choosing to take this class,” Simon said. “And I think it will payoff for you, but it will also payoff for the state as we have more people like you who are ready to do the math, who are ready to get a college degree. We’re going to be more competitive.”

Survey results will be compiled, and Simon will present them to an Illinois State Board of Education group tasked with developing math curricula.