Bob Wise, "High Schools at the Tipping Point"

What was written over ten years ago is still true today. We have a broken high school system.

But it's not going to be a political solution that saves our schools. Perhaps it is politically incorrect to say that the fix we're looking for is incorrectly political.

It's going to be us, Strength in Numbers Tutoring, and other grassroots nonprofits like__Communities in School__, that do something to fix our broken schools, watching and *working* alongside our students as their competitiveness *increases*.

At least for Strength in Numbers Tutoring, we are summoning the*activist *will to bring about *actual *change.

Our mission is to enhance the academic, career and financial opportunities of high school students by helping them obtain a "strength in numbers" for themselves. We're not waiting for legislation. We are simply helping change the outcomes from bleak to better, for one student at a time.

It is not going to be fast or easy. It's not flashy. We are not promising massive results with the stroke of a legislative vote or a presidential signature.

The hard work is like this.

First the problem: nearly every high school student could use some extra help in math, and many of those students will see limited academic and career opportunities because they simply do not have strength in numbers. Not getting that extra help puts - or*keeps* - them on the pathetic path toward mediocrity in schooling and in their working careers.

And now the solution: we provide that extra help. We help one student at a time. We tutor a 9th grade boy struggling in Math 1 on his homework. We teach a young lady approaching graduation how to do mental math. We remediate a middle school student by helping him actually learn the times tables.

One student at a time, one tutoring session at a time. Can you imagine teaching a 16-year-old taking algebra how to do binomial multiplication? Can you imagine teaching integers operations or exponential expressions to a 6th grader?

We can - and we are actually doing it. We're good at it and we love doing it, too.

So that's the hard work. We sit with a student in need of extra help, one tutoring session at a time, teaching one concept at a time until we have helped move the needle for that student. Long-term results are notoriously hard to pin down, but we have seen immediate gains in students' understanding growing, and maybe more importantly seeing their confidence growing.

As a math tutor of 20+ years, I have seen students from 9th graders to seniors who do not have a basic mastery of foundational math skills. I cringe when I think of the opportunities they will miss because they do not have basic math skills.

But it is those students who stand to gain the most from tutoring. So we push every student to work hard, and when they fail, to help them learn from their mistake and then try again. Every new skill mastered, every additional math concept that a student grasps moves the needle for him or her toward better outcomes in school and in life after graduation.

So, you and I and Bob Wise, yes all of us here in the United States have a choice: are we going to wait and hope for the promise of a political proposal or will we invest in action taking place right here in our own community?

We invite you to join us as we work toward seeing our vision becoming a reality.

Mark B. Anderson

Tutor & Founder, Strength in Numbers Tutoring

*Donate today to our *__Making the Most of Summer Fundraiser on Facebook__, or give directly on our website __here__. All donations are tax deductible.

]]>But it's not going to be a political solution that saves our schools. Perhaps it is politically incorrect to say that the fix we're looking for is incorrectly political.

It's going to be us, Strength in Numbers Tutoring, and other grassroots nonprofits like

At least for Strength in Numbers Tutoring, we are summoning the

Our mission is to enhance the academic, career and financial opportunities of high school students by helping them obtain a "strength in numbers" for themselves. We're not waiting for legislation. We are simply helping change the outcomes from bleak to better, for one student at a time.

It is not going to be fast or easy. It's not flashy. We are not promising massive results with the stroke of a legislative vote or a presidential signature.

The hard work is like this.

First the problem: nearly every high school student could use some extra help in math, and many of those students will see limited academic and career opportunities because they simply do not have strength in numbers. Not getting that extra help puts - or

And now the solution: we provide that extra help. We help one student at a time. We tutor a 9th grade boy struggling in Math 1 on his homework. We teach a young lady approaching graduation how to do mental math. We remediate a middle school student by helping him actually learn the times tables.

One student at a time, one tutoring session at a time. Can you imagine teaching a 16-year-old taking algebra how to do binomial multiplication? Can you imagine teaching integers operations or exponential expressions to a 6th grader?

We can - and we are actually doing it. We're good at it and we love doing it, too.

So that's the hard work. We sit with a student in need of extra help, one tutoring session at a time, teaching one concept at a time until we have helped move the needle for that student. Long-term results are notoriously hard to pin down, but we have seen immediate gains in students' understanding growing, and maybe more importantly seeing their confidence growing.

As a math tutor of 20+ years, I have seen students from 9th graders to seniors who do not have a basic mastery of foundational math skills. I cringe when I think of the opportunities they will miss because they do not have basic math skills.

But it is those students who stand to gain the most from tutoring. So we push every student to work hard, and when they fail, to help them learn from their mistake and then try again. Every new skill mastered, every additional math concept that a student grasps moves the needle for him or her toward better outcomes in school and in life after graduation.

So, you and I and Bob Wise, yes all of us here in the United States have a choice: are we going to wait and hope for the promise of a political proposal or will we invest in action taking place right here in our own community?

We invite you to join us as we work toward seeing our vision becoming a reality.

Mark B. Anderson

Tutor & Founder, Strength in Numbers Tutoring

JIF is $2.69 for 15 ounces, but Peter Pan is $2.99 for 16 ounces. And we're off, like a race, me trying to keep up with Dad's mental computations.

Think John Nash from*A Beautiful Mind* fluently rattling off a mind-bending succession of numbers, or Will Hunting pounding it out on the hallway chalkboard, mop in hand. My father's mathematical mumblings in that peanut butter aisle remind me of Faulkner's *stream of consciousness* (1).

It went something like this:*So JIF is 20 cents per ounce, no that would be $3.00 but it's about 30 cents less so two 15's, so not 20 but 18 cents per ounce and even a little less since it is $2.69. And for Peter Pan again about 20 cents per ounce but that would be $3.20 so take off ahhhh just one so it's gonna be just one cent less than 20 cents per ounce, or 19 cents per ounce ... well maybe a little less but not less than 18 cents per ounce. So, JIF is the better buy!*

All of that would roll off his tongue in like 8 seconds. And I would catch just enough to get it. Repeat this at the shoe store and at the home improvement store, and you get the idea. He was teaching me math and he didn't even know it. Maybe he did.

He'd come back to his senses after being transfixed for those 8 seconds and then ask me,*Which one do you want?*

Peter Pan.

You see it didn't matter whether we got the best deal or not. What mattered was that he taught me to think about numbers and to use them to my advantage. I could still make a decision apart from the numbers, but it would be an informed decision. (Note we never bought Smuckers because their price per ounce was 40 cents and well beyond the JIF and Peter Pan options.)

Now I've heard someone say, "I'm not a math person." Some have called me a genius because I can rattle off*mathematical stream of consciousness* now like that myself. (I think "genius" is a reach, but thank you for the compliment; I know enough about math to know I don't know much about math.) (2)

Whatever skill I have may be partly just genetics. True. But those genetics manifested themselves in those mathematical mumblings that I absorbed and made my own.

What I'm saying is that you don't have to be Will Hunting to work out some simple calculations. You can talk it out and yes have your calculator in hand if you need it.

Here's your takeaway: Whether you are good at math or not, talk with your kids about the cost of peanut butter.

I can honestly say that simple conversations like that changed my life. Thank you, Dad.

What can you teach your kids in the peanut butter aisle?

Think John Nash from

It went something like this:

All of that would roll off his tongue in like 8 seconds. And I would catch just enough to get it. Repeat this at the shoe store and at the home improvement store, and you get the idea. He was teaching me math and he didn't even know it. Maybe he did.

He'd come back to his senses after being transfixed for those 8 seconds and then ask me,

Peter Pan.

You see it didn't matter whether we got the best deal or not. What mattered was that he taught me to think about numbers and to use them to my advantage. I could still make a decision apart from the numbers, but it would be an informed decision. (Note we never bought Smuckers because their price per ounce was 40 cents and well beyond the JIF and Peter Pan options.)

Now I've heard someone say, "I'm not a math person." Some have called me a genius because I can rattle off

Whatever skill I have may be partly just genetics. True. But those genetics manifested themselves in those mathematical mumblings that I absorbed and made my own.

What I'm saying is that you don't have to be Will Hunting to work out some simple calculations. You can talk it out and yes have your calculator in hand if you need it.

Here's your takeaway: Whether you are good at math or not, talk with your kids about the cost of peanut butter.

I can honestly say that simple conversations like that changed my life. Thank you, Dad.

What can you teach your kids in the peanut butter aisle?

(1) I owe my knowledge of this topic to Mr. Wade Newhouse, one of my favorite teachers and and my inspiration to be a teacher myself.

(2) If you feel like a little stroll through the world of mathematics - to see just how vast it really is - just take a peak at one of these two math resources: 3Blue1Brown on YouTube, and Wolfram Mathematics.

(2) If you feel like a little stroll through the world of mathematics - to see just how vast it really is - just take a peak at one of these two math resources: 3Blue1Brown on YouTube, and Wolfram Mathematics.

But is it enough? Can they do more? Can you do more?

We believe you can and we're willing to help you do it. We're also willing to help you if your teacher isn't as connected as you would like.

Strength in Numbers Tutoring is now conducting tutoring sessions online. We are accepting students for tutoring in any math subject 6th grade through AP Calculus. Who couldn't use an little extra help, especially now without the "luxury" of seeing your teacher in person?

We will set you up with a virtual face-to-face meeting via Zoom. Don't miss this opportunity to learn.

| Let's start with something simple, |

Yep, Come Monday and we're all back in school, slogging through another day in algebra class. It could be arithmetic or geometry or trigonometry or even calculus, but for most of us, it just suks.

I really do agree.

But why does it suk? (He spells it that way in his song; maybe he thinks spelling sux too!)

There's__The Question__ that everybody asks in math class at one point or another, and then there's this one.

The short answer is that math suks when you doesn't understand it.

We tend to deride and disdain that which we don't understand. Once we begin to crack the code - which for most of us takes us getting Knee Deep into some problems - that hatred of it starts to wear off.

Maybe it’s not quite a Sunny Afternoon way down in Margaritaville but hopefully you’ve experienced the feeling a time or two when you “got it”. The Light Bulb moment.

Perhaps it was changing classes to that one teacher, or Changing Latitudes or Changing Attitudes toward how you thought about math, but that moment finally came after you put in the work.

OK, I know hat you're saying, I*t's not like I love it now... it just suks a little less than before. *

That's really__what SINT is created to do__: to help high school students think math suks just a little less than before we come into the picture. In a sort of crass, but very real way, this speaks to a lot of young people who for the most part have nothing but negative feelings about math. It takes a while to U-turn an ocean liner. Mission & Vision

It could be that a student has never understood math, or just started to lose their way in middle school. Or a student's parent isn't there anymore to help. Or is there but doesn't understand it herself.

SINT was founded - and is funded - by people who understand and enjoy math and want to share that with young people. So many students in high school nowadays are frustrated and defeated in math and other classes.

The__vision__ of SINT is to help students write a new story about overcoming frustration and finding success in school and in life after school.

Mr. Buffett closes his chorus saying,*Sometimes I think that I don't know that much, but math suks*.

We agree with him, but it doesn't have to stay that way for our young people.

I'll close by saying,*Sometimes I think that I don't know that much, but math doesn't have to suk.*

But why does it suk? (He spells it that way in his song; maybe he thinks spelling sux too!)

There's

The short answer is that math suks when you doesn't understand it.

We tend to deride and disdain that which we don't understand. Once we begin to crack the code - which for most of us takes us getting Knee Deep into some problems - that hatred of it starts to wear off.

Maybe it’s not quite a Sunny Afternoon way down in Margaritaville but hopefully you’ve experienced the feeling a time or two when you “got it”. The Light Bulb moment.

Perhaps it was changing classes to that one teacher, or Changing Latitudes or Changing Attitudes toward how you thought about math, but that moment finally came after you put in the work.

OK, I know hat you're saying, I

That's really

It could be that a student has never understood math, or just started to lose their way in middle school. Or a student's parent isn't there anymore to help. Or is there but doesn't understand it herself.

SINT was founded - and is funded - by people who understand and enjoy math and want to share that with young people. So many students in high school nowadays are frustrated and defeated in math and other classes.

The

Mr. Buffett closes his chorus saying,

We agree with him, but it doesn't have to stay that way for our young people.

I'll close by saying,

Mark B. Anderson

Tutor & Founder, Strength in Numbers Tutoring

It's a rite of passage for all teenagers in their high school math classes. Maybe it's algebra, or if you found some lasting meaning (I hear the scoffing) in algebra, surely you said it in trigonometry.

Quick poll: raise your hand if you've used the Pythagorean Theorem anytime in the last 10 years.

(If you did, I commend you. Please share your story in the comments below.)

As a high school math teacher I field**The Question** all the time. There's a long answer and two short answers. I'll tell you one of the short answers first. I like to borrow the answer my old student, Duy, gave when someone in his class posed the question. He said, "Friday. You'll use this on the test Friday."

Sure enough, there's logic in that snarky, short response. You need to pass your math classes to graduate, and to do that you need to pass your tests.

So that's what I tell my students. I'm not sugar-coating anything. No, you're right, you are not going to use the Pythagorean Theorem in any job other than teaching math. OK, maybe under perfect circumstances a carpenter or architect may apply the concept but I have to imagine they don't first identify the x in the problem first. There's software for that stuff.

I tell them two other things though - the long answer. (The long answer comes in two parts. I did mention it was long, right? What did you expect?) While you won't likely use the Pythagorean Theorem in everyday life, you will encounter problems in any job or business that requires you to slog through really__boring__ __tedium__ of your work.

The first part of my non-snarky, long answer I give my students in response to**The Question** is that there may come a day when you need to persevere through days of __boredom__ at a job or in whatever business you run. If you can find a way to slog through the *monotony* and understand The Pythagorean Theorem, then that experience developing *perseverance* will help you one day push through those days of boredom. If you can press on through the boredom that most people associate with the Pythagorean Theorem, then you can do anything.

The second part of my non-snarky, long answer I give my students in response to The Question is that there may come a day when you need to persevere through days of__tedium__ at a job or in whatever business you run. If you can find a way to slog through the *details* and understand The Pythagorean Theorem, then that experience developing *intelligence* will help you one day push through those days of tedium. If you can get through the tedium that most people associate with the Pythagorean Theorem, then you can do anything.

And the second, short answer to The Question, When am I ever going to use this?

Answer: Everyday of your life.

You will use perseverance and intelligence everyday of your life, and right here in math class - yes, even the Pythagorean Theorem - you're learning and developing both. I hope you use both everyday of your life.

Quick poll: raise your hand if you've used the Pythagorean Theorem anytime in the last 10 years.

(If you did, I commend you. Please share your story in the comments below.)

As a high school math teacher I field

Sure enough, there's logic in that snarky, short response. You need to pass your math classes to graduate, and to do that you need to pass your tests.

So that's what I tell my students. I'm not sugar-coating anything. No, you're right, you are not going to use the Pythagorean Theorem in any job other than teaching math. OK, maybe under perfect circumstances a carpenter or architect may apply the concept but I have to imagine they don't first identify the x in the problem first. There's software for that stuff.

I tell them two other things though - the long answer. (The long answer comes in two parts. I did mention it was long, right? What did you expect?) While you won't likely use the Pythagorean Theorem in everyday life, you will encounter problems in any job or business that requires you to slog through really

The first part of my non-snarky, long answer I give my students in response to

The second part of my non-snarky, long answer I give my students in response to The Question is that there may come a day when you need to persevere through days of

And the second, short answer to The Question, When am I ever going to use this?

Answer: Everyday of your life.

You will use perseverance and intelligence everyday of your life, and right here in math class - yes, even the Pythagorean Theorem - you're learning and developing both. I hope you use both everyday of your life.