NPR Spotlight on Evergreen–Tacoma

January 11, 2019
Tacoma Math Workshop

In July, National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast two stories related to Evergreen–Tacoma. Correspondents had initially planned a one-day visit, but were inspired to stay an additional day to conduct more interviews and research.

The first article resulting from NPR’s trip to Evergreen–Tacoma highlighted its importance to the surrounding community. Among other things, it cited a 2014 study that showed that, in the nation as a whole, just one in three returning students goes on to earn their degree. For comparison, over the past decade at Evergreen–Tacoma, four out of five students have done so.

NPR’s second piece on Evergreen–Tacoma focused on faculty member Paul McCreary and his unique approach to math anxiety. It described some of the ways McCreary helps his students deal with their negative associations with mathematics, including having them write a “mini-memoir” about their history with the subject.

McCreary estimates that over 90 percent of students enter his class disliking the subject. Watching students “rise above a feeling of not being able to do it” is what gives him his deep love for teaching mathematics.