A Parental Guide for Mathematics Competency
By Leon Dixon
Educators have said that the best indicator of how well a student will do in college is not test scores or grades. It is how well they did\
in geometry. It is also known that that the students who have taken the quality mathematics and science courses (such as advanced algebra an\
d trigonometry and above, and chemistry and physics) have the best SAT and ACT mathematics and science scores.
Many secondary teachers of these courses complain that students entering high school are lacking in the necessary background to handle the \
courses and therefore are in the need of remediation. Furthermore, what the high school mathematics teachers say that they would like the inc\
oming students to have is a good understanding of basic geometric concepts such as tangency, parallelism, and perpendicularity. Also, many of \
the college mathematics teachers say they would like incoming students to have a good background in trigonometry.
Below is a checklist that parents can use to monitor the progress of their child in each grade so that the above criteria can be met. T\
he students should also be able to explain their work.
Grade Checklist K. Count to 100 & write the numbe\
rs from 1 to 100.1.
Add single digit numbers.2.
Add at least two double digit numbers involving carrying; subt\
ract single digit numbers.3.
Add three triple digit numbers involving carrying; subtract using borrowing; b\
egin learning timetables; begin multiplication.4.
Know timetables; multiply a fourdigit number by a threedigit number; begin division by single digits.5. Divide a fivedigit number by a twodigit number.
IMPORTANT: IF YOUR CHILD HAS TROUBLE WITH THIS, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY. FUTURE SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THIS!6. Multiply and divide fractions; add and subtract fractions with different denominators.
\NOTE: If you have trouble checking for this, find someone who can help you with it.
7.
Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals; and perform the conversion between fractions, decimals and percents.
NOTE: Same as in 6.8.
Perform arithmetic with signed numbers.
NOTE: Same as in 6.9.
Enroll in algebra I.10.
Enroll in geometry and biology.11.
Enroll in algebra II & trigonometry and chemistry.12.
Enroll in precalculus and physics.
The above is only meant to be a guideline for normal student progress. Many students are working ahead of this schedule and that bodes wel\
l for them.
*** A Guideline for Quality Education ***"You can go to high school and graduate, or you can go to high school and get educated."



LEVEL 
LANGUAGE ARTS 
SOCIAL SCIENCE 
NATURAL SCIENCE 
MATHEMATICS 
ADEQUATE 
English Grammar, Reading & Composition 
Civics, American History, World History 
Biology  Algebra, Geometry 
GOOD 
American Literature, 1 yr. Foreign Language 
U.S. Government  Chemistry  Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry 
SUPERIOR 
World Literature, 2 yrs. Foreign Language 
Psychology  Physics  PreCalculus 
*** Additional recommended Quality Course *** 

Black Literature  Black History  Advanced Chemistry  Calculus  
Debate  Geography  Anatomy & Physiology  Computer Science  
Speech  Sociology  Zoology  Statistics  
The above table contains our recommendations for courses that high school students should take in order to obtain a quality ACADEMIC backgroun\
Under the four basic academic groups are listed additional quality courses that may be interchanged with the recommended courses. The more of\ 