Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Montgomery County to put all students on path for algebra in grade eight

While some Montgomery parents have been worried that their elementary-aged children aren’t receiving the math acceleration they need in the new Curriculum 2.0, the county school system revealed Tuesday that, under the curriculum, all students should ready for higher-level math, sooner.
The goal is to get all students to Algebra 1 by eighth grade, which would allow them to begin taking college-level courses, such as AP calculus, by senior year.
“Algebra 1 by grade 8” is already one of the school system’s “Seven Keys to College Readiness,” but it is not the designated course path for all students.
The current math pathway allows students to be accelerated through courses to achieve this, but in 2012 only about 70 percent of eighth-graders took algebra 1, according to school system data.
The goal is “lofty,” according to Linda Sheffield, a professor emerita from Northern Kentucky University and curriculum expert who the board invited to speak at their meeting on Tuesday.
“I would think that it is a nice long-term goal,” Sheffield said.
Sheffield said most colleges do not expect to see calculus on a high school transcript.
The school system data also showed that as the school system has pushed more students into algebra 1 before high school in the last few years, more students failed the course.

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