Failure is not an option in Sarah Bax's math classes. In each of the five years that she has taught eighth-grade math at Hardy Middle School, her students have never missed the federal requirements for annual yearly progress, and often lead the district in proficiency scores. Ms. Bax's strategies for achieving these learning gains include the "Tally Program," a system of monitoring positive and negative behaviors--with rewards and consequences--that has become a model for the school. She also created an innovative after-school program to help girls learn about computers and remain interested in math. Each May for the past five years, Ms. Bax has led the eighth-grade class in sponsoring a "Math Carnival." Students work in teams to design an array of games using probability, measurement, geometry and statistics. Sixth and seventh graders then eagerly play these games on the day of the carnival. Ms. Bax also sponsors Hardy's MathCounts Team, which placed fourth this year in the statewide competition. A large number of Ms. Bax's students are accepted into competitive high school programs and academies, and the principals of the three most competitive programs regularly seek out Hardy students. Thanks to Sarah Bax, the probability of student success at Hardy has never been higher.
The White House | Jun 11 , 2012 | Washington, DC