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Teachers: Poor Study Habits Top Reason Students Flunked Math Finals

The majority of Montgomery County high school math students failed their final exams last year. Teachers blame grading policies and poor study habits for the problem.

The majority of Montgomery County high school math students failed their final exams last year. File|Patch
The majority of Montgomery County high school math students failed their final exams last year. File|Patch

Montgomery County students don’t always prepare for finals, and some don’t know how to get ready for a test, say teachers surveyed after more than half of all the county’s high school students failed semester math finals last year.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of the survey results, in which teachers shared concerns about poor study habits and school policies that allow students to flunk a final but still pass a class.

“Mandate one week of review, not one day of review,” one teacher said in the survey.

The survey grew out of an effort by a district-appointed study group that has been meeting since July to get to the bottom of the problem, the newspaper says. More than 600 middle school and high school math teachers were invited to participate, with 226 doing so.

Asked to cite three reasons for the student failure on exams, 27 percent of the teachers who responded said students choose not to put in an adequate amount of preparation; 18 percent said students don’t know how to prepare for a cumulative test; and 11 percent said class grades do not reflect mastery of content, which causes students to overestimate their level of preparation.

Twelve percent of teachers cited grading practices, a theme of many teacher comments.

“Students are too aware of the fact that they can FAIL the semester exam and still pass the class,” one teacher wrote.

Ann Smith February 06, 2014 at 08:24 AM
How about the no homework in elementary & misplace net going on by the educating staff? I tried for six years to address this with my daughters school and the school just abused me. If you see the problem with students like that it is because the school has been neglectful.

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