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May 15, 2007

Educators, legislators see pilot math program in action

Educators and legislators from across the state visited Madison County on Monday to take a tour of three local middle schools participating in a mathematics pilot program.

The Madison County School District was one of six districts in the state selected in August by the Kentucky Department of Education to participate in a computerized mathematics pilot program.

The goal of the Carnegie Learning Math Software, which was chosen by the district from two available options, is to allow struggling middle school math students to be targeted with differentiated instruction at an unprecedented level.

The Carnegie software, which is being used a Madison Middle, Foley Middle and Clark-Moores Middle, responds to each student’s individual needs for problem-solving strategies and assesses student progress on mastering skills and concepts before diagnostically assigning problems based on the student’s strengths, weaknesses and individual problem-solving approach.

“I’ve never had kids knock on the school before the doors open and ask to come in to do math,” said Madison Middle Principal Brad Winkler. “That is happening. We’ve seen great things happen with this program.”

“As far as I’m concerned, in my 20 years in education, I’ve never seen any one thing that was so overwhelmingly accepted by all those who were involved,” he said. “The highest-performing kids and the lowest-performing kids all love this program. Needless to say, the teachers love it as well.”

Increased funding

During the past legislative session, lawmakers increased funding in the second year of the biennium for a middle school technology-based intervention program.

The goal of the program is to determine if schools can use technology to boost the performance of middle school students who are in jeopardy of falling behind or failing once they reach high school.

State Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, and state Sen. Dan Kelly, R-Springfield, provided guidance to KDE about the use of the resources.

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