Greenville County Schools considers applied math course to help graduates pass hiring tests

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Applicants are having trouble passing the math portion of the required hiring tests at many manufacturing jobs, so Greenville County Schools wants to offer an applied math course to refresh their memories.

Jeff McCoy, associate superintendent for academics, said by the time many students graduate, it’s been a while since they’ve taken a basic math course. Some students take algebra I in seventh or eighth grade to get ahead in high school.

“It’s not to say they don’t know how to do it, or haven’t been taught, it’s just been so long ago,” McCoy said.

McCoy said the district also doesn’t have an applied math class for students who know they want to go into a trade after graduation.

Only 10 to 30 percent of applicants pass the math portion of Michelin’s hiring test for reliability technicians, according to David Stafford, chief human resources officer with Michelin. Michelin’s hiring test for reliability technicians consists of a 20-minute math portion and a 30-minute mechanical aptitude portion. An applicant must pass both portions in order to take a skills test and be considered for a job.

Michelin has already partnered with Greenville County Schools to share the hiring test with high school guidance counselors and teachers to help them understand learning gaps and opportunities for improvement.

But McCoy said the district also hopes to partner with Greenville Technical College on a short refresher course for would-be applicants.

“We’re even toying with the idea of looking at a prep course during their senior year of high school that they could take either for credit or just as a prep course,” McCoy said.

Greenville Tech already has math software to help students remediate, McCoy said, but it’s for students enrolled at the college.

“So we’re looking at that and some of the options we have, whether it be a remedial class we do after school or even a course that we get approval for to do during the day,” McCoy said.

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