California abandons algebra requireme...

California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders

Posted in the Fairfield Forum


Vallejo, CA

#1 Feb 4, 2013
California abandons algebra requirement for eighth-graders

By falling in line with other states, California is abandoning its push for all eighth-graders to take algebra.

Last month, the State Board of Education unanimously shifted away from a 15-year policy of expecting eighth-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow them to take either Algebra I or an alternate course that includes some algebra. New state standardized tests will focus on the alternate course -- the same one adopted by most states under the Common Core curriculum being rolled out across the nation.

Supporters welcome the change as more in line with current practice, of schools offering two tracks of math for eighth-graders. But critics fear that the new standard will let schools avoid offering rigorous courses for all. They point to a report released last week showing that some schools are not placing black and Latino students in advanced math courses even when they're prepared.

The change is controversial because success in Algebra I is the single best predictor of college graduation.

Supporters say the state has adopted a more practical and effective way of teaching math. The new standards recognize that not all students can pass algebra in middle school.

"You have a lot of kids who get pushed into algebra when they're not ready," said Mark Stolan, a math teacher at Quimby Oak Middle School in San Jose. "Not only do they struggle, which is demoralizing, then they end up having to take it again."

Since 1997, California standards have included eighth-grade algebra. Under the new standards for algebra: "We are recommending you take it when you're ready," said Thomas Adams, executive director of the state's Instructional Quality Commission.
Jim in SF

Benicia, CA

#2 Feb 4, 2013
This is a fork in the road for students and our society. One path leads to success and some financial security while the other path leads to poverty and government entitlement dependency. Avoid the public schools, they are failing good kids each and every day.
Salty Dog

Vallejo, CA

#3 Feb 4, 2013
That may well be. But the reality is that children learn at different rates and cognitive development is not uniform for diverse reasons. Children should not be penalized for something beyond their control. This policy change is simply an acknowledgement of that.
Can Of Worms

Vallejo, CA

#4 Feb 4, 2013
The next step is to legalize marijuana for recreational use just like tobacco. Let the Chinese handle algebra, they have the high tech jobs anyways.
gimmie gimmie gimmie

Los Altos, CA

#5 Feb 4, 2013
whaaaaaaaaaaaaa it's too hard

properly taught it's not too hard

but it will keep certian groups of children ignorant and that's just what the democrats want, dependents.


#6 Feb 11, 2013
Algebra off the curriculum but I would bet serious money Text messaging and Facebook rants are still there!!!

Each new generation these days seems like a step backwards for this once great nation.

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