RSM In The News
What started with a Newton mother’s dogged determination to improve her son’s math education 16 years ago has expanded into a nationwide after-school program that has drawn thousands of students to its unique methods for mastering an often unpopular subject.
The school has the data to support their model. Eleventh-grade Russian School students average 774 out of a possible 800 on the math portion of the SAT exam.
Excerpt: From Article by Erica Noona on October 21, 2010
Parents find specialized schools to fill gaps
[There is] a pervasive fear and loathing of math among many parents, and even teachers. “There is this attitude we pass on to our kids, ‘We’re not good at math, so it’s OK if you aren’t either,’ ’’ he said.
“But the entire modern work world is based on math, whether a UPS package is delivered efficiently, or whether Google is delivering search results well. It is such a vital component of education, and we are still not close to where we should be,’’ Epstein said.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 10, 2010, 7:30 PM
The question that should be asked is why our public schools are not offering the mathematics training that parents are increasingly paying outsiders to provide to their academically motivated children.
EXCERPT: From Article by Jaroslaw Anders, 19 October 2010.
“It is all about multiple choices. They don’t think about problems,” says Russian mathematician and Boston-area resident Irina Khavinson. “They don’t explain why things are the way they are. In mathematics things are connected.”
"The Russian School of Mathematics can be seen as a precursor of the current shift in math teaching in the United States... The students typically achieve high test scores and get accepted to the most selective U.S. universities... [Irina] Khavinson says that with the right approach almost any child can learn to understand complex mathematical relationships.
Her method, she says, is based on the work of Russian pioneer developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934), who advocated early introduction to mathematics as a crucial element in a child’s intellectual growth."
EXCERPT: Front Page Article by Scott S. Greenberger on 5/7/2001
NEWTON - Irene Khavinson loves her new country. So she pauses, staring sheepishly at the table top, before offering her opinion on how mathematics is taught in American schools.
''I hate to say this, but everything is wrong,'' Khavinson finally says in her heavy Russian accent. ''The approach is wrong. It's too easy. It's not connected. They jump from topic to topic, and topics should be connected in math.''
Khavinson taught math for 15 years in what was then Leningrad before immigrating to the United States a decade ago. She shied from teaching here, fearing she'd have trouble managing unruly American students. But now, after stints as an accountant and working at a drapery company, she's back in the classroom - using an Old World approach in an unlikely setting.
EXCERPT: Article by Hilary Levey Friedman on January 22, 2012
Chris Gabrieli, a former gubernatorial candidate, venture capitalist, and educational policy reform advocate, has five children, all of whom attended classes at the Russian School at various ages from kindergarten through middle school. He recalls stopping into an elementary school-level class one day and being struck by how all the kids were jumping out of their seats and shouting answers...“Seeing the enthusiasm and joy and excitement about the problem solving brought home that it’s a lot more than just grinding-it-out practice.”
EXCERPT: From the Article by Steven Rosenberg on March 19, 2009
Parents see the class as an investment in their futures. With the economic downturn and the job market shifting ever more toward technology, parents say mathematics is essential to future careers. And with juniors from the school averaging 770 (out of 800) on their math SAT scores and most graduates going on to prestigious colleges and universities, some parents say it's not too early for students to look for an edge on the future.
"It's a competitive world," said Julia Hersey of Marblehead... she enrolled her 11-year-old daughter, Alex, in the program to help her better understand logic. "It's about critical thinking and feeling comfortable and being in an intellectual environment where it's OK to be a geek."
EXCERPT FROM: article by Chrissie Long posted Nov 28, 2007.
Dozens of Newton families seek outside tutors, not necessarily to avoid failing grades, but to challenge their kids.Because individuals seek outside help, programs such as the Russian Math School and Math Monkey have thrived in Newton.After attending the Russian Math School, Dolan’s daughter was placed in ninth-grade honors and scores extremely well on state assessments. She’s successful not because she is a genius, Dolan said, but because she’s been challenged through an outside math school.