Algebra II Classes Splitting Up Unit Tests


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As many students begin settling into their classes in the 2022-2023 school year, the Algebra II classes are experiencing a plummet in students’ grades and performance on tests. As a result of these alarmingly low scores, the Algebra II department has decided to divide each unit into two group quizzes and two unit tests. The Algebra II teachers are now expecting students to perform better on tests, as they have less material to study for each test, and more time to become comfortable with the material. 

Students who are currently attending Algebra II classes at Aliso Niguel High School, are the same kids who took Algebra I online in the 2020-2021 school year. Many teachers and students agree that this may be a contributing factor in the reason why many students are failing, and they are hoping that the flexibility that the math department is providing will help the overall test scores improve. 

Mrs. Lane, an Algebra II teacher at Aliso Niguel High School states, “from what I’ve seen, the kids that are really struggling right now, are the kids that had gotten D’s in algebra I, even though it was online. I think the main cause of the poor performance in algebra II is definitely not learning the fundamentals of algebra I, due to the fact that everything was over the computer.”

In COVID lockdowns, countless students had trouble maintaining efficient grades from home, especially in classes such as mathematics, where a ready and available teacher who is able to help out is necessary. As a result, many freshman who took algebra I virtually, are now struggling to pick up where they left off and understand the concepts, especially because algebra II consists of many lessons learned in algebra I.

 However, this occurrence is not unheard of. All across the nation students are struggling to learn and apply themselves on tests, and the fault may not just lie in the hands of the pandemic. More and more children are facing major trouble in school because of the abandoning of books and the embracing of technology. Instead of getting help from the teacher or going back and reading their notes, many kids have begun relying on online tools such as Google and other apps that instantly spit out the correct answer, with no work necessary.

Regardless of what the reason may be, the algebra II department is so far pleased with the results after splitting up the units into a more digestible strategy, and Mrs. Lane claims that “the last test average was a 92,” meaning that students are starting to learn what they missed out on in grade 9.  

Yasmin Marouf (11), a student at Aliso Niguel High School and an algebra II student, remarks, “the first unit was really rough for my friends and I because it was alot of material and it was really hard to remember all the formulas and different rules. Pur teacher didn’t even count the first group quiz because everyone did so poorly, but I’m doing alot better now because I can focus on three to four sections at a time instead of seven or sometimes up to eight different lessons. I’m getting much better grades on the tests and quizzes now because this new strategy that the algebra II teachers have applied is much more manageable and I’m happy.” 

Although the feedback from students as been incredible, Mrs. Lane claims that “[the algebra II teachers] will only continue breaking up the tests into smaller portions for this year” but “it will most likely not be applied for next year because this would be a bad habit for kids to get into thinking that they only need to learn three sections at a time and then take a test on it. It is important for students to learn how to have six to eight sections covered on one test. 

At first, an idea that may have seemed uncertain, is now being proven to work exceptionally, and teachers are eager to gradually get their students on the right path. Teachers and kids are pleased with the results and are hoping for even more improvement in the future.