For the 2008-2009 school year, 100% of the students in Ms. Knox’s class demonstrated proficiency in the state’s End-of-Instruction (EOI) test for Algebra 2 when the students’ home
school permitted use of the TI-Nspire handheld on the test. Students from the one school that did notexperienced a 75% pass rate). Compared to other similar classes in schools that
allowed calculators on the state test, this represents nearly a doubling of the proficiency rate. For the 2009-2010 school year, 33 of her 36 students passed; exceptional
circumstances account for two of the three students who were not proficient.
“It’s amazing how this is all working,” Ms. Knox comments. “Everyone loves to come to class.
The second they walk through the door they’re engaged.”
This success in teaching mathematics has enhanced the reputation of the Tech Center, Ms. Knox reports. “The Tech Centers have been known for watering down the course to get the kids to pass. Now, even the IEP kids are passing the state test. People used to write off the Tech Center kids. Administrators from the sending districts now say the Tech Centers are no problem – it’s a new reputation. Now, we are known as the people who teach the math. In
fact, we were asked to provide the summer three-week remediation.”
Ms. Knox is also gaining converts among her colleagues. She reports that one of the sending school’s Algebra 2 teachers is getting a class set of TI-Nspire handhelds. No surprise, she’s
eager to show her system to her colleagues in all math subjects. “The TI-Nspire technology also works with geometry and calculus,” she says.