Harrisonburg Schools Look to Singapore for Help in Math

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As American students continue to lose ground to other countries, Valley educators met Tuesday, to find a solution.

One administrator says Valley students are having a particularly tough time with math, but a new program coming all the way from Singapore could fix the problem.

Harrisonburg Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner says new curriculum based on a math program taught in schools in Singapore could lead to vast improvements in understanding of math among Valley students.

The program would be implemented in kindergarten through fifth grade, and would emphasizes pictures and real-life problem solving to teach math.

Harrisonburg would be the first area in Virginia to use it, and Kizner explains the city could be a perfect fit.

"Recognize that over 40 percent of our kids speak English as a second language. Math, however, is a universal language," says Kizner. "It doesn't matter where you are in this world, math concepts are math concepts. This program does a lot more visual and mental representation so there's not a strong language component."

He adds the program has gotten lots of support from teachers and parents.

Kizner says, if it gets formal approval by the board, it will be implemented next school year.