Jason Catanese’s 7th grade Algebra students at Pueblo del Sol School in Phoenix, Arizona have a lot to celebrate this week. Their outstanding performance on the Algebra Qualifying Test, an exam most often administered to high school students, has put them on the map.
Jason Catanese teaches 7th grade mathematics at Pueblo del Sol School in the Isaac School District in Phoenix. This year, he led his students to be the first 7th graders in the history of the Isaac District to pass the Algebra Qualifying Test (AQT,) an exam most often given to highschoolers. 72 of his 7th grade students passed the AQT, greatly exceeding the 8 students that have ever passed the exam in the school’s history. Furthermore, Mr. Catanese’s students passed with flying colors. The average score on the test across Phoenix Union District, (which includes middle and high schoolers) was a 50.81%. The 7th graders at Pueblo del Sol averaged an 86%. Two students achieved a perfect score of 100%, with three students missing only 1 question. These five students achieved the highest scores on the examination for all 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders combined in the Phoenix Union district.
The future is bright for these young mathematicians. Next year, as 8th graders, they will be the first Geometry students in the history of the Isaac School District and by the time they reach high school, will already be two years ahead of their peers in math. The significance of this trajectory is that the students coming from Mr. Catanese’s 7th grade class will be on a path to take Calculus and AP Calculus by the time they graduate from high school, ensuring preparedness to enter and succeed in college.
Scottsdale-based Symmetry Software, creators of the popular website paycheckcity.com, provided a class set of graphing calculators to Mr. Catanese’s class at the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic school year as part of their “Calculators For Kids” initiative. For every 50,000 visits to paycheckcity.com, Symmetry gives a calculator to a school in need. Tom Reahard, founder and CEO of Symmetry Software launched “Calculators For Kids” to help give low-income students the tools they need to be successful in their mathematics coursework and ultimately in life. Reahard states, “It is thrilling to hear about the success of Mr. Catanese’s Algebra class. They certainly have a bright future as a result of their hard work and commitment. We are proud to have played a small part in the success of his students through “Calculators For Kids.”
For more information about “Calculators For Kids” and to see a video of Mr. Catanese’s students in action, simply visit PaycheckCity and click on the “Calculators For Kids” image.