“Algebra seems to help [students], but it’s not clear it’s the curriculum. It’s the peer environment. It’s the teacher. It’s just the pat on the back for being in an advanced class. All kinds of stuff is going on there, and we don’t know which it is,”
Getting eighth graders to learn how to manipulate variables is a goal that each district approaches with its own particular curricula, its own set of teachers, and its own ancillary supports for struggling students (or not). All of these factors affect educational quality independent of whether and when a student is enrolled in something called “Algebra I.”
Backing away from the early algebra-for-all orthodoxy that has dominated state educational policy up until 2012, the new standards recommend that districts focus on pre-algebra throughout middle school.
Carranza criticizing the district’s “one-size-fits-all math policy.”
“There is [now] a ton of what you would consider algebra in grade school and all the way through middle school,” he says. “So the question about Algebra I in middle school really just doesn’t fit the current paradigm because the standards are so different than what has historically been taught.”
As Ryan points out, the CCSS Math 8 course that eighth graders are now expected to take includes 60% of the material from the old Algebra I course.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.