HAMMOND | Some students do poorly in mathematics because they don't read well, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said Friday during a region conference.
Ritz was the keynote speaker Friday at the Purdue University Calumet Improvement of Mathematics Teaching Conference. The event drew dozens of K-12 mathematics teachers and administrators from across Northwest Indiana.
Ritz reiterated statements she has made before that the state spends $25 million a year on ISTEP-Plus testing. But that pass or fail test does not show growth.
Ritz said she hopes to get a test in place by the 2015-16 school year to measure growth and show how students are performing.
"The math skills that students need for college and career are the same," Ritz said. "There is no gap. Students need to know the same level of math. We have to put a system in place so we know where our students are in terms of their math skills."
Ritz also talked about outreach coordinators, who will be part of the school improvement process working with schools. She stressed the importance of technology in schools and the importance of developing business partnerships.
Ritz recalled her high school days, when she was in the cadet teacher program. She said she was the first of her family to go to college.
Ritz said she worked three jobs every summer to finish school.
She told teachers the college planning process has to begin at the secondary level. Ritz said only 33 percent of the students who go on to college graduate, and some of them don't know what they really want to do if they graduate.
Diana Underwood-Gregg, PUC associate professor of mathematics education and director of the university's Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, asked a question about teacher licensing and professional development.
Ritz responded that the state has not set aside any money for teacher professional development. Ritz told teachers they would have to "get creative" about ways to obtain professional development training.