Montgomery County school board members voiced alarm Tuesday about steep failure rates on last semester’s final exams in high school math courses, saying such problems go back many years and raising questions about school policies that might affect student test performance.
Board of Education member Phil Kauffman (At Large) cited a 2004 report that showed about half the county’s high school students failed Algebra 1 finals that year, highlighting what he said appears to be a persistent problem. Elected leaders met Tuesday for the first time since data became public showing that a majority of the roughly 30,000 high school students in seven math courses failed their final exams.
This year’s data showed a 62 percent failure rate for high school students taking the county’s geometry final and a 57 percent rate for those taking the Algebra 2 exam. Among those taking Algebra 1 finals, 61 percent failed. For precalculus, the failure rate was 48 percent.