Required semester of Research Statistics is unproductive


NIcholas Artiedamarin

Students have to take a semester of Research Statistics before they take their respective math.

Nicholas Artiedamarin, Staff Writer

Research Statistics 1, a course introduced in 2014, is a required semester course for freshmen to learn topics like combinatorics, probability, descriptive statistics, and statistical distribution to help them with their IBET project. Instead of learning statistics during the IBET blocks, the Jefferson math department decided that freshmen should take one semester of Research Statistics 1 before their regular math class. This caused other math courses like TJ Math 3(Algebra II) and TJ Math 4(Precalculus) to be semester courses rather than full year courses. The math department’s reasoning for the semester long Research Statistics class was that they wanted to help incoming freshmen with their IBET projects as students will have to use statistics for their end of year project. 

Research statistics takes away from the learning of other math courses. When Research Stats is taken in the first semester, it leaves only 1 semester for Math 3, which goes through all of Algebra II. The math department, regarding Math 3, said that the class will cover the same amount of material as a year long Algebra II class. Students have complained that taking Research Stats first semester makes the second semester very difficult, with teachers going through several units of Algebra II swiftly without stopping when a student doesn’t understand the material.

Instead of having a full semester of Research Statistics, the math department should revert to the old way of teaching statistics, which was where students would learn statistics in their IBET class specifically for the IBET research project. This switch would make Algebra II less stressful for both the students and the teachers. Additionally, the math grades would improve as there would be more time for students to understand the material instead of getting left behind.

I understand the math department’s decision to separate Research Statistics from IBET, as in IBET, the focus should be on English, Design and Tech, and Biology. But I think that reverting to the previous mathematics structure would help the students focus on the math that they should be taking instead of math for the IBET project, improving both overall grades and mental health.