Possibly bad news for Escambia public schools

October 25, 2011

Based on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests of the past 10 years, we know that Escambia County public schools are dealing with a large percentage of its incoming elementary school students who aren’t prepared for school, particularly economically-disadvantaged and minority children.They don’t know their letters or numbers. A new study shows that this can lead to math-related learning disability.

Children who start elementary school with little or no ability to associate printed numbers with the quantities they represent are more likely to develop a math-related learning disability than their peers, according to a study released by the National Institute of Health.

Other early factors correlated with a math learning disability were difficulty recalling answers to single-digit addition problems, distractibility in class, and difficulty understanding that more complex math problems can be broken down into smaller problems that can be solved individually.

Although the math learning disabled children did make limited progress in subsequent grades, by fifth grade they had not caught up to their typically achieving peers in the ability to recall number facts or in their ease of adding sets of dots and numerals together. The authors note that the math disabled students did catch up in other areas, such as the use of counting to solve problems.

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