TOWSON, Md - Fifteen-year-old Matthew Galgon is hard at work tackling his algebra problems. The subject comes a little easier for him, but that was not always the case.
Matthew struggled with algebra and he was not alone. A newly released survey finds that most eighth and ninth graders consider algebra to be their toughest subject.
"I had difficulty with math and I would spend hours with my dad trying to figure it out," said Matthew Galgon.
The newly released study also finds that parents struggle with helping their kids with algebra. Robin Galgon wants to provide the best for her son Matthew.
She admits subjects like Algebra can be out of her league.
"We have been working with Matthew for several years with his learning difficutlies. As time progressed, we realized he would need extra help. He goes to a private school. We realized he had gaps that did not allow him to succeed to get the grades he should be getting," said Robin Galgon.
The findings of the survey are important to a student's academic future.
"We found that two out of three eighth grade students are not ready for algebra when they get to high school, which is alarming because algebra is the prerequisite class that students need to get into upper level math classes," said Melissa Kent, Director of Sylvan Learning Center Towson.
Sylvan Learning has developed a free online tool called Fit 4 Algebra to help students. The free interactive online screener helps parents assess whether their child is on track for algebra and other advanced math subjects.
"This helps determine students readiness for algebra. It's a 21 question screener that allows us to determine whether or how strong students are in the skills students need to get ready for algebra," said Kent.
Matthew has tried Fit 4 Algebra and these days he's understanding the material.
"I feel confident with math," said Matthew Galgon.
"What he told me is things make sense and he starts to enjoy school now because that was an issue because of his struggles. He did not like school and it's all coming along," said Robin Galgon.
Sylvans Free Screener is available on www.fit4algebra.org. Parents of children entering Middle School are encouraged to have their child take the screener to assess Algebra readiness at the start of the school year.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Montgomery County school officials have adopted a calendar for the next school year without taking action on a major Muslim holiday for students.