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Group pushes for Singapore Math in Utah schools

Group pushes for Singapore Math in Utah schools


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SALT LAKE CITY -- There's a new push for a certain way of teaching math to be expanded in Utah.

Some parents are so convinced Singapore Math is the way to go, they are trying to get the state Legislature on board. Oak Norton started the website Utahsmathfuture.com. It includes a petition to sign.

Norton says Singapore Math, characterized as a method that doesn't use long and complicated problems to teach principles, suits all learning styles.

"Everything is very visual, very tuned in to the purpose of what's being taught," he says. "It's all geared toward what images and what material can be put there to help the kids focus in on what they are trying to learn."

Norton says other countries are beating the U.S. hands down in math tests.

"We've got countries like Estonia ahead of us. There's no reason for that. We put men on the moon. That math is still out there, it's just not being taught any more," he says.

He says in Singapore Math, third-graders are learning algebra. By fifth grade, those students are two years ahead of American students.

"Every year that we delay is another year we fall behind," he says.

The Granite School District already pilots Singapore Math in several of its schools. District spokesman Ben Horsley says the program has been used for several years in an effort to compile enough data to see if it makes a difference in test scores.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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