As some regular readers know, I'm currently working on a masters degree in math education (basically applied math with some extra consideration given to actually making our kids competitive here in the States). I'm throwing around ideas for my thesis project, but have narrowed in on the area of remediation. If you're a math teacher, you'll probably understand this question: How much time do you spend in your classes on remediation? How much time do you spend filling in holes and gaps, rather than actually teaching according to a curriculum? I'd bet that it's a lot.
The same could probably be said of English teachers who expect that kids can crank out 5-paragraph essays by the time they hit the 9th grade or history teachers who expect a reasonable grasp of geography. As a math teacher, I'm obviously most concerned with my students' math background, but the same problem spans all of the subjects we teach. In fact, (and correct me if I'm wrong here, college professors), the problem of requisite skills applies at the undergraduate level, as well.
This year, for the first time, we gave all of our 9th graders a basic arithmetic test and used it to identify the students most in need of remediation (and potentially even referral for special education). Suffice to say that there were far too many students who performed well beneath grade level on even basic math (multiplication, division, manipulation of fractions, etc.). This leads me to my master's project. How can we quickly and easily administer these tests at a variety of levels and collect and analyze the data?
The Web is a no-brainer, of course, and my project will probably consist largely of development and validation of an online assessment tool that dumps data into a repository for further study. How is your district (or university, for that matter) dealing with identifying remediation needs? Take the poll and then provide us with any details below.