Wednesday, June 14, 2006


High-school "mathletes" from Nebraska placed 11th out of 80 teams nationwide at a recent competition in Iowa City. Fifteen Cornhusker kids competed in the American Regions Math League's 31st annual contest. They earned the right to compete based on results of Math Day at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this past spring.

Eleven of the students were from public high schools: Omaha North sent two; Omaha Central sent one; Lincoln East sent five; Lincoln Northeast sent one; Lincoln Southeast sent one; Seward High School sent one.

Four more were from private high schools: Brownell-Talbot sent two students, Creighton Prep sent one, and Lincoln Pius X sent one.

It should be noted, however, that only a tiny fraction of Nebraska students are actually excelling in math these days. Iowa, for example, sent six teams to the competition. And according to the Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, available on www.collegeboard.com, Nebraska has one of the lowest percentages in the nation of students who receive college credit for math and other subjects, based on results of AP tests.

According to the College Board, which operates the Advanced Placement system, last year 1,395 Nebraska students took AP tests in various subjects, including math, but only 849 scored a "3" out of 5, or better, resulting in college credit. That's 4.4% of the Nebraska student body, compared to the national average of 14.1%.

Ouch! Doesn't add up! So even though it's great that 15 of our top math kids did so well, let's not be deceived about what's happening with everybody else.

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