By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s summer “math camp” for Philadelphia schoolteachers this week.

Nine-hundred K-thru-8 teachers are at Lincoln High this week, learning strategies to get kids to grasp math concepts earlier, says the district’s chief academic support officer Cheryl Logan.

“Multiplicative reasoning sounds kind of fancy. But we do expect our third graders to not just be able to multiply, but to determine the least common multiple,” she said.

That will better prepare them for algebra concepts in 6th grade. Logan notes that four years ago the Pennsylvania Core standards changed, and standardized test scores dropped.

“It did really highlight a mismatch between what kids were being taught and how kids are going to be assessed. And so this is an effort to close that gap,” Logan said.

Is it working? This is the second year of the “Math Counts” program, and Logan says in a few months the district will be announcing modest bumps in achievement, with fewer students in the bottom tier.

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