From: Rod Rippon
To: Howard Stephenson, Steve Eliason, Mike Kennedy, Stuart Adams, Lyle Hillyard, Jani Iwamoto, Wayne Niederhauser, Daniel Thatcher, Steve Urquhart, Joel Briscoe, LaVar Christensen, Bruce Cutler, Becky Edwards, Justin Fawson, Francis Gibson, Brad Last, David Lifferth, Marie Poulson, Kraig Powell, Norm Thurston,
Subject: funding for ALEKS
Date: Mon Jan 25 04:27:33 MST 2016
Dear members of the "Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee,

   My name is Rod Rippon and I have taught math in Utah schools for 34 years.  I am writing to encourage you to support funding for ALEKS in Utah schools.  ALEKS is an online adaptive assessment / tutorial program for mathematics of all levels.  In short,

   -- It helps remedial students "fill in holes" in their math backgrounds.
   -- It helps average students not only "fill in the holes," but also reinforces what they are currently learning in the classroom.

   -- It helps bright students move beyond where most students are in a given class.  It provides enrichment for them. 

   ALEKS can be aligned to a state's core curriculum (our "Common Core")

   ALEKS is very similar in content and function to Utah's SAGE assessments.  Interactive components like using a ruler and protractor to draw constructions are very similar.  Entering equations and math symbols and functions are very similar.  ALEKS is a great tool to help prepare our students for year end SAGE tests.

    I am very pleased with what ALEKS is doing for my math students.  I am also impressed that much of the time spent on ALEKS is done at home--learning, assessment, tutoring, drill and practice, all of which are done in addition to their regular math homework.  Motivation and encouragement are part of the ALEKS program. 

   Please take a moment to watch two short videos about ALEKS (see below).  The first describes the philosophy behind ALEKS, gives some insight into how it works, and shows what it can do for individual students.  The second describes the ALEKS "Quicktables."  I have seen over the years how our students are losing their basic math skills.  Quicktables is an adaptive assessment and drill program for the four basic math operations.

   I know you are busy and have much to do and to look at.  If you are interested, I can tell you more about how I've incorporated ALEKS in to my math curriculum and how students are responding.  Please contact me if you have other questions, or would like to know more.

Thank you for your time,

Rod Rippon
Rocky Mountain Jr. High

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