MARYLAND

Montgomery County students receiving record low math scores

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Montgomery County schools are now part of a puzzling phenomenon: A large majority of their high school students are receiving failing, or near-failing grades on their math final exams.

Students in the area, who are not accustomed to receiving low academic marks, are now part of high failure rates that were consistent across five school years in Montgomery County for a countrywide, uniform math exam, The Washington Post reported.

Now, elected leaders are asking why 62 percent of their high school students failed their geometry finals in January, 57 failed their Algebra 2 exams and 48 percent failed on their pre-calculus finals.

Parents, students and some teachers offered a possible reasoning for the low scores, according to The Washington Post: They say that Montgomery has had a longtime push to accelerate students in math, which has moved too many students too quickly—leaving them without a firm handle on the subject.

"It is a concern that they aren't being taught,” says parent Anginette Ballard.

Montgomery County Superintendent Joshua Starr admits the numbers are unacceptable but says there are likely multiple factors.

School officials are quick to point out, test scores have not impacted course competitions. For example, only 39% of students earned a passing grade on Algebra one exams across the board last semester, but 81% passed the class.

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