Test scores, confidence in math on the rise at St. Louis high school
Since implementing Renaissance Accelerated Math®, Clyde C. Miller Career Academy in St. Louis, Missouri has made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two years in a row—a remarkable achievement in a district that lost its accreditation several years ago.
“We credit our success with two things: a collaborative work of the team of freshman teachers and the use of Accelerated Math,” said Clyde C. Miller math teacher Victoria Shearing.
In Clyde C. Miller’s first year of Accelerated Math use, state test scores quadrupled from 6% proficiency to 24%. The second year, scores again increased significantly to 36% proficiency. This year, Shearing says the academy will make AYP for the third year in a row and their test score expectation is 45% proficiency.
These advancements are no small feat at a high school where students arrive two to three years below grade level in mathematics. Clyde C. Miller Career Academy, a public school that offers qualifying students technical training and certification as well as high school diplomas, has a high-minority, high-poverty population with 78% of students on free and reduced lunch.
Most of our students come to us after many years of failure in math, not believing they can succeed anymore,” Shearing said. “They’ve never had individualized assignments, and they’ve never been individually recognized at the levels that Accelerated Math allows me to do it. With Accelerated Math, they know that it’s all about their unique goals and they’re not lost in the masses.”
Accelerated Math was initially tested on a limited scale at the school to see how it would help prepare students for the End of Course examinations in Algebra. It was so effective that the program is now used by all high schools and middle schools in the district.
Most of our students come to us after many years of failure in math, not believing they can succeed anymore. They’ve never had individualized assignments, and they’d never been individually recognized at the levels that Accelerated Math allows me to do it. With Accelerated Math, they know that it’s all about their unique goals and they’re not lost in the masses.
The practice students get through Accelerated Math has benefited Clyde C. Miller students in many ways. Shearing says they have better opportunity to truly learn the concepts through repeated exposure to problems, and the individualized assignments allow them to learn qualitatively, not quantitatively or vicariously through other students.
“Students have to actually work for their results, and they own those results,” said Shearing, who uses the Status of the Class Report daily as a concrete way to hold students accountable for doing the work and scoring their assignments. “Individualized assignments lead to ownership of the knowledge, which in turn increases their confidence and their enthusiasm for schoolwork.”