To prepare students for success in college and future careers, Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) offers STEM-based programs to enable students in public schools to master important math and science skills.
Stepping Up To Algebra (SUTA) is an intervention program designed to help incoming eighth grade students complete Algebra I. Through a year-round program which includes a 75-hour summer preparatory course followed by school year support in partnership with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, SUTA provides students classroom instruction by a credentialed teacher following a curriculum identified specifically for this program. A technology component engages student learning and reinforces the lesson plans through practice tools and games.
SUTA focuses on the skills, knowledge, and confidence needed for students to successfully complete algebra. The programs are offered at no charge for students and districts in Santa Clara County, and they include a teacher-training component that benefits every child with whom a teacher comes into contact. The programs include a strong college bound focus reinforced with college students as teaching assistants, college field trips and college information sessions. The program serves students scoring at Basic math proficiency on the 7th grade CST, in order to increase the number of 8th grade students placed in Algebra I or better.
The aim of the SUTA program is to help overcome the lack of proficiency in mathematics by too many middle school students. 36% of 19,848 sixth grade students and 42% of 19,690 seventh grade math students register at the basic, below basic, or very below basic levels in mathematics proficiency. * The understanding of algebra is based on the math concepts learned by students throughout their education. This low proficiency rate in the sixth and seventh grades are directly reflected in the mathematics results for eighth grade students below proficiency. Results show that 42% of 19,665 eighth grade students tested below proficiency. Stepping Up To Algebra will work toward reversing this trend in Silicon Valley schools.
* Source: California Department of Education, 2011
SVEF evaluates the effectiveness and success of the program for the participating students with the following measurements : 1) student gains during the summer program; 2) the percentage of students placed into 8th grade Algebra I at completion of the program; and 3) students scoring Proficient or Advanced on the Algebra I California Standards Test (CST).
Pre- and post-testing assessments evaluating nearly 1000 students who took part in the Stepping Up To Algebra program in summer 2012 reported that these students achieved a double-digit percent gain (+34%) in math proficiency.
Teacher and student interviews reported positive attitudinal changes towards math. With the program's strong focus on college, it is not surprising that 93% of teachers agreed that SUTA raised student awareness and aspirations to attend college. Nearly all (92%) of students surveyed have plans to complete college, with 53% reporting they want to pursue an advanced degree.
In the fifth year of the program, SVEF partnered with 18 school districts to provide Stepping Up to Algebra to approximately 1000 students. This year doubles our effort in helping Silicon Valley middle school math students be better prepared and successful in Algebra I. Please refer to the list of school districts involved in the SUTA program in the summer of 2012.
For more information on the SUTA program, cuurent site locations and dates, visit the SUTA site.
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