In a day and age in which the goal of most high school students is to avoid homework, King’s Academy senior John McGrath is not only doing the homework assigned to him, he is creating more.
After a near perfect score on his SATs, McGrath realized that the standard homework included in most math textbooks was not reflective of the rigor or depth of understanding needed for standardized tests and most college-level math courses. That sentiment was articulated almost verbatim by College Board President David Coleman on March 5, when he announced the new SAT format.
Coleman quoted College Board statistics indicating that while many more people are applying to and enrolling in colleges, “the rise in college-going is accompanied by a disturbing statistic. By the College Board’s own research, the percentage of ‘college ready’ high school graduates has been essentially unchanged since 2009 at about 43 percent.”
McGrath decided to do something about it. Working with members of TKA’s faculty, McGrath created a seminar on “Math the SAT Way,” which he delivered to the math teachers who attended the Christian Schools of Palm Beach County conference on Feb. 14.
At the seminar, McGrath showed the teachers how to go beyond the rote practice and computation of the textbooks to the symbolic representation and application skills measured in tests such as the SAT.
The King’s Academy is a nationally recognized private Christian school serving approximately 1,200 students from preschool through 12th grade. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Christian Schools International and the Florida Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
More information about TKA is available online at www.tka.net.
ABOVE: John McGrath teaches SAT methods to teachers.