Latest News

This Math Class is Pushing Students to Realize They’re Smarter Than They Think

Scores on Virginia’s Standards of Learning math tests have gone up three years straight at Fairfax County’s J.E.B. Stuart High School. The improvement stems mostly from better teaching and more time for instruction, but a little-noticed part of this process deserves special mention. Bill Horkan, a veteran math teacher at Stuart, says an innovation has been added involving a fact of human nature not usually taught in education schools. All of us, including teenagers, compare ourselves to others and get a jolt of confidence when we realize some of our high-performing classmates aren’t any smarter than we are.