Honors Algebra Gets Failing Grade When it Comes to Providing Advanced Math Education

Through the years, we have seen plenty of students with good math grades come to us with significant gaps in their math skills and abilities. In fact, we have built an entire business around providing a rigorous, systematic curriculum that addresses these gaps. But it’s still shocking to see how many high school students in [...]


Why Not Let Students Know Everybody’s Score?

Should a teacher return a marked quiz face down to protect a student’s privacy, or face up, where it can be seen by the entire class?

At Russian School of Mathematics, we distribute checked tests face up. It’s a practice that years ago brought me into a spirited discussion with the father of a bright fifth grader I’ll call Mike.

Tags :


Does America Need A Common Curriculum?

In math there are very important topics that must be studied in a proper sequence. Unfortunately current lack of curriculum allows teachers to occasionally skip some subjects altogether. I once realized that one of my ten grade students had no idea about circles. When I brought it up with his public school teacher, she answered to my utmost amazement — “I don’t do circles, I don’t like them.” With all my respect to local control this is not a way to teach math. Circle must be studied whether the student goes to school in Hawaii, Minnesota, or Massachusetts.


International Tests Show US Teens in 25th Place in Math

The latest results from the OECD show that while US teenagers are improving in reading, they continue to lag behind their peers internationally in science and especially in math. On the other hand, Asian countries continue to dominate the test (with a fairly stunning result from China in particular this year).

Tags : , , ,


From Russia With Math (My Recent Op-Ed in the Jewish Advocate)

As some of you may know, I was deeply affected when watching the recent film Waiting for Superman. The film (by the director of “An Inconvenient Truth”) looks at the state of America’s public education system through the stories of families who due to failing urban schools or tracking in suburban schools are looking for options to give their children a great eduction. … I think the reason I was so moved by the film is the contrast I feel, as a Russian immigrant, between the great prosperity offered by America to those with a great education and the lack of availability of that education in the public system.

Tags : ,

The Myth of the Gender Ability Gap

While the world argues over the cause of the gender achievement gap in math and science, it’s interesting that at RSM there is no gap. There has never been one in fact. Our female students are and have been on completely equal intellectual footing as their male peers.

Tags : , , , , ,


Meet our Alumni: 3 RSM Women with a PhD in their sights

Liz Rapoport, Dina Tsukrov, and Rimma Pivovarov began attending RSM at the ages of 11 and 12. They went to camp every year and worked as counselors during their college years. Twelve years later, they’re completing PhD programs at MIT, Einstein, and Columbia Universities! Read an excerpt from their interview below.

Tags : , , , , , ,

A few facts about math in America

Recently the National Academy of Sciences published an answer to their previous report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, which described some fundamental problems challenging America’s place in the world. The report is available as a free PDF and is fairly direct: to remain competitive we HAVE to increase our leadership and investment in R&D and to do that we need more engineers, scientists, etc. Of course, that’s hard to do since our schools aren’t creating them (the US is 48th in quality of Math & Science education, 69% of 5th – 8th graders are taught math by someone without any specialization in the subject, etc.)

Tags : , ,

Math is biggest driver of remedial classes in Ohio according to Board of Regents

I ran into an interesting news aticle over the weekend with some interesting statistics on what subjects students struggle with when entering college. According to the Ohio Board of regents, 38% of students needed to take at least one remedial course in Math or English (lowering their chance of graduating by nearly 70%).

Tags : , ,


RSM Featured in Article in the Boston Globe

A recent article in the Boston Globe looks at options for Massachusetts parents looking to bolster their children’s math education. RSM is featured through interviews with some of our parents and our founders. It’s an interesting look at what pushes parents to seek after school programs and what alternatives exist in Massachusetts.

Tags : , , ,