Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Schools face a math problem: Money is running out and kids are still behind

In some parts of the country, student scores in math still have not reached pre-pandemic levels. Schools are racing to find solutions

Black marker in hand, Nick Baar returned to the whiteboard. The newly minted math tutor wrote an equation for the eighth-graders in front of him:

25 x 199

The rules were simple: No calculators or pencils allowed. Baar wanted to see if his students at Perry Street Preparatory, a charter school in Northeast Washington, could solve the problem in their heads. They had breezed through an earlier problem - 25 x 200 - but now appeared stumped. The group sat in silence.

One boy spoke up. He knew 25 x 200 = 5,000, so he guessed that 25 x 199 could equal 4,999. Baar paused before breaking the equation down into smaller chunks, offering a reminder that multiplication is just adding the same number over and over again. The group slowly caught on to the pattern until they produced the right answer: 4,975.


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