Town Square

Will high-intensity math pay off?

Original post made on Jul 26, 2008

Mountain View Whisman's four-week math intervention program, held at Foothill College throughout July, is showing encouraging signs. As one student said, near the end of the program, "Things that seemed hard are now easy."
SEE ALSO: New math requirement won't alter district's plans

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 25, 2008, 1:39 PM


Posted by Liz, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2008 at 8:30 am

If Latino students in the district means children of illegal immigrants, the school district should be spending the money elsewhere. How could this taxpayer money be better applied to children of legal parents? Just like the school lunch program, it all adds up to negative numbers.

Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm

Of course it won't pay off. Put more emphasis on math, then reading and writing skills will go down. Forget about science. The real problem is that standards have gone down in Mountain View Schools due to the influx of illegal immigrants.

Posted by Angela Hey, a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I coached children in math when I was a student.

When children have moved from school to school, have language difficulties or feel at the bottom of their math class, individual tuition - even for a short time - can really make a big difference.

Congratulations to the Foothill students who took part. Congratulations to the school children who took time off from their summer vacation to learn. Congratulations to the teachers working on the program.

This is a terrific idea and hope the program continues.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Jackson Park
on Jul 28, 2008 at 3:31 pm

That's all fine and well said and done, but who pays for it and from where does the money come? What is going on in schools to address these problems during the year? I would love to send my daughter to a collegiate environment in the summer to improve in her already high math skills. Is there any tax dollars left for her?

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2008 at 11:13 am

Liz, Ned, et al:

Is every issue always a gateway to attacking "illegal" immigrants? Would you two and the others do the rest of us a favor and just start a forum on this site entitled: "Illegals: The cause of all our problems"?

Posted by Carl, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 31, 2008 at 8:56 am

I think it would be foolish to think that illegals aren't presenting a good deal of problems to our schools. I was dropping my child off at school one morning last year and was hit in the parking lot by a Mexican immigrant--no license, no insurance, no English, four school-aged kids and my problem to take care of in the end.

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Jul 31, 2008 at 7:58 pm


Are you writing about "illegals" or Mexicans? Which ones are the problem? Do other nationalities count? Are you able to tell who is legal and who is not by skin color? If you can, we can work together and put brown stars on their shirts so we can readily identify them.

Posted by Carl, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm


I know because I ask since I am fluent in Spanish, and they have no problem telling me. I work with these people daily. If you want to put a rascist spin on it, fine. What I am saying is that their operating outside of our system and illegally is costing us all, our schools, our hospitals, and our social welfare system. It's systematic abuse of the system. Is that such a hard concept to comprehend? You rush to judge.

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Aug 4, 2008 at 9:21 pm


I'm fluent in Spanish, too. Still waiting for my medal, though. My question stands. A Mexican is not necessarily an "illegal" and an "illegal" is not necessarily a Mexican. "You rush to judge" is exactly rushing to judge. Be careful about that.

Posted by Carl, a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm

Wondering, it's pretty obvious who's the one rushing to judge here. It's you.

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Now it's my turn! Okay, you are the one rushing to judge. Now is it your turn. Can't stay on topic, can you?

Posted by Robin Iwai, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Aug 9, 2008 at 10:54 pm

This divisive argument about the legal status of schoolchildren disgusts me.

Why don't you come in person, come visit and volunteer at our public elementary schools, surround yourself with the happy, eager, smiling, adorable children from all different backgrounds, and then focus on the challenge here which is how to best help our children improve their understanding of math?

Posted by Enough!, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2008 at 1:48 pm


What is in dispute here is "our children" and "our schools" I'd say about half are our children and the other half are ruining our schools and costing plenty of money that could be spent somewhere else.

Posted by Wondering, a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm


I simply don't trust your calculations. Perhaps you can petition to audit a high-intensity math class.

Posted by Parent, a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2008 at 1:31 pm

As for how this program was paid for--my guess is that it came from a pot of "categorical" money designated by the state or federal governments to be used just for under-performing or low-income students, or for improvement of math scores, or some other restricted use. Which means that the money could only be spent for that purpose and could not be spent to send high-achieving kids to a summer enrichment program or to roll back into the "general fund." And, if the argument that it's all the illegal immigrants' fault extends to the idea that, if they weren't here we wouldn't have so many low-income kids and could spend that money elsewhere--well, the money would disappear along with the low-income kids.

School budgets are a nightmare. So much of the money comes with strings attached, and the districts don't have much control over where to spend it. With that said, I think this program is a great idea, and I certainly hope those 75 kids benefitted from it.