C.P.M. Math Method Bears Positive Results

New Math Method Means Progress


Math Matters

In a recent article, we looked at how math has a new “method” of being taught and how some students might have had some qualms with it. While keeping kids “happy” is always a concern, at the end of the day, in education, just like any other activity, it’s the results that matter. Based on that assessment, the CPM method of teaching math has proved itself to be lucrative.

In 2017, only 1% of West Geauga’s students achieved an “Advanced” score on the Algebra I AIR test. While it might appear “low” at first glance, this is potentially reasonable. Not only is “Advanced” an excellent score, requiring at least a 754 or above, but taking math tests on a computer screen can be difficult for those students who were used to doing the test on paper. However, the very next year, this changed dramatically with the introduction of the CPM method; that paltry 1% saw a whopping gain, as 35% achieved an “Advanced” score. It’s something you can’t call a coincidence very easily.

But how? For a notoriously difficult subject, such a dramatic increase in the span of a single year seems more like magic than mathematics. Not so ! It was the byproduct of good, old – fashioned hard work. Ms. Erin Gray, a new math teacher in the district, explained that, “It allows students to make sense of concepts in ways they understand.” Instead of learning a topic, only to possibly forget it as soon as you move onto the next, it,  “…integrates previous concepts year round in addition to the new material.”

While students might have received it with “mixed reviews,” Gray has a good guess as to why this might be. “This method is not how math has previously been taught. I think it’s an adjustment for students and teachers, alike, but there are a lot of benefits to be had from this method.” The data seems to bear this out:

Algebra 1   Percents –

               Basic  Limited  Proficient  Accelerated Advanced     

2017        20%         25%          39%                15%                1%

2018          9%         10%          37%                 9%               35%

2019          4%           9%          30%                13%              43%

In addition to our “no pass” rate being in the single digits for 2019, it is worthy to note that in geometry West G’s 2019 AIR scores were higher than Solon …which just happens to be the #1 ranked high school in Ohio.