William S. Hadley Mathematics Instructional Chairman John A. Brashear High School Pittsburgh, Pa.
I read with interest the article about the issuing of calculators to Chicago school students (“In ‘Bold Stroke,’ Chicago To Issue Calculators to All 4th-8th Graders,” Oct. 14, 1987).
We, in Pittsburgh, have instituted a calculator program of our own.
Each mathematics student in grades 9 through 12 is issued, like a textbook, a scientific calculator, which is to be used at all times in all appropriate courses. This program, which began last year, will reach virtually every secondary student by January of this school year.
Furthermore, each middle-school student, grades 6 through 8, is being provided with a basic four-function calculator to use.
We hope that in the next year the middle-school students will have scientific calculators and that the basic ones will be available to elementary students.
Coordinating the calculator policy with a re-examination and rewriting of much of the K-12 mathematics program, we have made a major commitment to teaching more problem-solving and higher-level math concepts throughout the curriculum.
A version of this article appeared in the November 04, 1987 edition of Education Week as Letters to the Editor