A local school hopes to improve low test scores with new math program

Algebra Nation

This semester, Southside Middle School is testing out a new online math program, Algebra Nation, in eighth grade math classes to help improve low test scores.

Algebra Nation is an online learning resource that helps students master Algebra 1, a key “gateway” to high-growth STEM careers and a key math test for measuring state-wide achievement in math.

“Pretty much all over South Carolina, we’ve been having trouble with the area of math,” said Craig Washington, Southside Middle School Principal. “Math tends to be an abstract area to students to basically learn so what we’re trying to do is utilize technology, blended learning to hopefully improve test scores.”

The program uses interactive videos with tutors, learning tools, workbooks and assessments to help students apply what they learn to the real world. Local educators believe the interactive learning is key to improving test score.

“It’s very student friendly. The students enjoy watching the videos. They also have a wall that they can post questions and peers or experts help answer questions that they might have,” said Scott Cater, Southside Middle School eighth grade math teacher.

“Our learners toady are different. They want to be engaged,” said Principal Washington. “If learning is not relevant and they can’t make that connection and it’s very abstract to them, as a result you won’t be able to get the test scores that you’re looking for.”

Some the Algebra Nation tutors surprised the students with a visit Tuesday after their lesson to get feedback on the new program.

The students said nothing but good things.

“I love it. It’s so much better than just the average textbook. We can use it at school and at home and it’s very convenient,” said Sarah Danner, a Southside Middle School eighth grader.

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