## Stop Splitting Up Students So Much And Dont Hasten The Curriculum

Over the years, some schools have sought to raise math achievement by pushing algebra down to eighth grade. High-flying students may adapt and have room to take more advanced high school classes. Hastening the curriculum can widen the gulf in achievement between lower-performing students, including those who are economically disadvantaged and racial minorities.

The practice reflects a long-standing feature of American math education: As early as middle school, students are often split into “tracks” in ways that predetermine who will take advanced classes in high school. The advanced classes are often full of students who are white or Asian and attend suburban schools while black and Latino students continue to be underrepresented, research shows.

About six years ago, San Franciscos school leaders sought to tackle the problem. They halted teaching algebra I in eighth grade. Students take the same three-year sequence of math courses in middle school, and everyone is enrolled in mixed-ability classrooms, said Lizzy Hull Barnes, math supervisor at the San Francisco Unified School District.

In high school, all students take ninth grade algebra and 10th grade geometry. After that, students can choose their path: Some may pick algebra II, others may choose a course combining algebra II and pre-calculus. Some may accelerate to AP statistics.

Its been a seismic shift, Barnes said.

**In New York, an uproar over axing gifted tracks:**This school is doing it anyway

## The Answer Is In The Homework

Homework can offer telling clues about the quality of mathematics instruction. A worksheet with 50 problems out of context where students are moving symbols around for no apparent reason would be cause for parents to engage their childs teacher in a conversation, Larson says. Instead, homework should be rich with context and should demand analytical thinking.

Parents should appreciate that learning mathematics is sometimes challenging, Larson says, and its not necessarily a good sign if everything is very easy. Students should be appropriately challenged to use problem-solving skills.

To do some homework of your own, Fennell suggests talking to your child and her math teacher about how homework is used. You can ask:

- Are homework assignments corrected and returned in a timely way?
- Is homework reviewed in class so students can learn from their mistakes?
- Does the teacher change the pace or direction of his or her instruction, based on student feedback?

You dont need to be a mathematician to ask good questions about your childs curriculum, Fennell adds. Ask the teacher, Is it a repeat of math that should have already been mastered? When my child finishes this year, will he be ready for high school math?’

## Guidelines For Offering Algebra I In Grade 8

The course offered will be regular Algebra I. Honors Algebra I will not be offered at a middle school unless all the following conditions are met:

A student successfully completing this course may elect to receive high school credit. Details of this process are given later in this directive.

All algebra courses taught in Grade 8 will be subject to ongoing review to assure that the class is a high school equivalent. The District Math Review Committee will oversee this review. The school will provide evidence that instruction is consistent with the high school course description, that the teacher is certified and qualified, and that students are achieving well in subsequent courses.

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## Who Should Really Be Taking Algebra I In Middle School

The idea that we should accelerate students math curriculum to ensure they can complete Calculus before graduation was a trend in the early 2000s that we now are able to see the results from. Requiring students to take Algebra I in middle school has proven problematic because there are many students being accelerated without the required foundational skills for future math success.

While these students may be able to earn a passing grade and pass the state test for Algebra I, the lack of foundational skills and many standards that are left unmastered eventually catch up with students as they pursue higher math courses. With our shift to college- and career-readiness standards, we must rethink how we are determining placement into accelerated math classes for middle school students and how we are designing the middle school curriculum to ensure students do not have gaps in their learning.

During a recent Five-Star Technology Solutions webinar, Kendall Jankay, our Pivot Inspect Assessment Director, presented research to support successful middle school math acceleration. First, we must look at multiple data points to ensure the students we accelerate have the skills to be successful. Data supports that students need to have passed their sixth-grade math class with at least 90% in the class. While grades can be subjective, this is still a useful measure. Teacher recommendations should also be considered when looking at grades.

## Algebra I/mathematics I Graduation Requirements

**Q. During the stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus and the shift to distance learning, must local educational agencies continue to implement their Mathematics Placement Policy pursuant to Education Code Section 51224.7?** A. The Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, set forth in

*EC*Section 51224.7, requires that governing boards or bodies of LEAs that serve pupils entering grade nine have a mathematics placement policy in place, with specified elements, for pupils entering grade nine.

The decision of how a LEA is to implement its Mathematics Placement Policy is a local one. During this time of distance learning, each governing board or body of a LEA will need to determine what action, if any, to take regarding its Mathematics Placement Policy for mathematics course placement for the 2020-21 school year. As equity is at the heart of the Mathematics Placement Act, it is pertinent to note that each policy is required to have a checkpoint within the first month of the school year.

**Q. When does the Algebra I requirement actually go into effect?**

A. “Commencing with the 2003-04 school year” refers to the beginning of the school year. The requirement applies to the graduating class of the 2003-04 school year, which includes any students who graduate during the school year.

**Q. Does “complete the course,” mean “pass the course?”** A. Completing the course is the same as passing the course.

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## Get Sleep The Night Before The Regents

Remember that fun, not-at-all-something-that-happened thing I mentioned in the scheduling section about sleeping through the Regents? Yeah. While I didn’t do this, I know people who did, and rushing to get to school before the deadline and then rushing through the test is not super conducive to scoring well.

Even if you’re someone who wakes up at the same time every day without an alarm, though, **getting a good night’s rest leading up to a test will magnify the results of your studying**. Personally, I’ve found that getting a good night’s sleep two days before the test is also critical, but you may find your body works differently.

## Why Is Algebra So Important

Becoming an algebra expert opens the doors to some of todays most trendy careers. From computer science to medicine, algebra serves as a foundational skill. Understanding algebra also puts students on track for college success, no matter what major they choose. Heres how you can make sure your children develop the algebra skills they need to succeed.

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## High School Options For Students Who Complete Algebra I In Grade 8

Recommendations for placement into the high school honors program will be based on District established criteria which include both appropriate testing and teacher recommendation. The middle school and high school math departments will work together to facilitate articulation of this program.

High schools will provide appropriate support for ninth graders making the transition from Algebra I in grade 8 to high school honors math program.

Students who enter high school with credit for high school equivalent math courses will be counseled to take math every year during grades 9 through 12.

## How Can You Exceed Expectations

Because high schools offer many math classes at varying levels of depth, speed, and difficulty, the math classes you take and the grades you receive in them will be looked at closely by colleges to help determine your academic ability and how good a fit you would be at the school.

**If you are not majoring in a STEM field, you do not need to worry as much about exceeding expectations in your math classes** you can focus the majority of your time and energy on classes more closely related to the subject you plan to major in. **It’s usually enough to take four years of math and get good grades in those classes.** If you have the time and ability to take honors or AP math classes, that’s great, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your grades for classes more closely related to your major.

For students planning to major in a STEM field, you will also want to take four years of math, but you will want to push yourself by taking advanced math classes, studying those classes at honors or AP level if offered by your school, and getting high grades in your math classes.

Below are several examples of advanced math classes that will help show a college that you have strong math skills.

There are three AP math classes available: two calculus classes and a statistics class.

#### AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC

#### AP Statistics

*Feeling Lucky? AP Statistics may be the course for you.*

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## Do I Need To Take Academic Math

**Do I Need to Take Academic Math?**

- You likely dont know now, what youll want to study then.
- You probably dont want to shut any doors in grade 9

**I dont think that I currently have the skills that are required for the Academic pathway but I think that I might need one of those U level grade 12 courses. Should I sign up for Academic anyway?****Potential Options**

**10 Applied then 10 Academic****10 Applied to 11 U/C****10 Applied to 11 College then 11 U/C**- 11U/C also allows you to move into MCR3U

**Why would I consider this pathway ?****Talk to your current math teacher if youd like any additional information or assistance in choosing your pathway.**

## How Much Should Students Rely On Calculators

The issue of calculators has been debated by math teachers, university professors, and parents, but there is general agreement that calculators shouldnt be a substitute for learning basic arithmetic and standard algorithms.

Larson believes the use of calculators is not a yes or no question. While he says technology can help build a deeper understanding of key algebra concepts, students should still learn how to practice standard procedures on their own.

You dont want to see students go straight to calculators, Fennell says. The calculator is an instructional tool, says Fennell. It should support but not supplant anything. You dont use it for 6 x 7.

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## How Many Math Classes Are Required

The number and type of math classes required varies from high school to high school and college to college.

For example, New York State requires six math credits , which must include at least two credits beyond Algebra I, for graduation. Meanwhile, California mandates two years of math, including Algebra I. In Florida, students must complete four math credits , including Algebra I and Geometry. Certifications that lead to college credit or computer science may substitute for up to two credits, other than Algebra I and Geometry.

Many colleges require a specific number of math courses for admission, while others recommend them. At Cornell, for example, four years of math are required for all schools other than Arts & Sciences and Architecture, Art, and Planning , which require three years.

The University of Virginia , on the other hand, stipulates three years of math, including Algebra I and II and one course to be chosen from Geometry, Advanced Algebra & Trigonometry, Calculus, or a related course.

Colgate University, meanwhile, doesnt have any math requirements for admission. However, according to the liberal arts school, most accepted students have completed four years of math.

## If My Student Takes Algebra 1 In 8th Grade What Will He Take In 12th Grade

Dr. Shormann recommends starting Shormann Algebra 1 in 8th grade. Shormann Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 each earn 1 1/2 credits so some students take up to three semesters to complete each one. Three Semester Schedule

If he completes Algebra 1 in 8th grade, Algebra 2 in 9th grade, Precalculus in 10th grade, then Calculus I in 11th grade, he can take the AP Calculus AB exam. If he passes this exam at the end of 11th grade , he can turn those exam scores in with his college admissions and scholarship applications. A passing score on an AP Calculus exam will significantly boost his application in the selection process. Learn More: Advanced Placement Exams

Then in 12th grade he can take Calculus 2 followed by the AP Calculus BC exam.

If you have any questions, you can schedule a phone appointment here: Math Consulting Appointment

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## What Are The Nysed Regents Exams

**The New York State Education Department** **Regents exams are subject-based tests generally taken at the end of the school year in June** . By subject-based, we mean that you aren’t just tested on broad categories like “Math” or “Science”instead, you’ll take Regents in specific subjects, like Algebra 1, Chemistry, US History & Government, and so on.

Currently, there are **ten Regents exams** that most students will encounter:

- English Language Arts
- Chemistry
- Physics

Each Regents exam is administered over the course of **three hours** in a single day .

Depending on the subject, Regents exams will include multiple-choice questions and short-answer questions or essay responses . Based on your performance, you’ll receive a scaled score from 1-100 on each test.

**The four Science Regents exams also include separately-scheduled lab practicals** you can read more about these in our articles about the Earth Science, Living Environment, and Chemistry Regents.

Because there are multiple subject-based tests that you’ll have to take, the Regents aren’t exactly considered a high school exit examination, which tend to be more Math/English Language Arts-focused.

However, **you will still have to take at least five Regents exams** **across grades 9-12 to get your NY high school diploma**if you’re in public school, that is. If you go to private school, you’re in luckthe Regents are only mandatory for students attending public school in New York.

## Process For Placement In Algebra I Grade 8

Students must be carefully selected for Algebra I so that they have a high probability of success. They must meet all of the following criteria.

4. Parent request for placement in Algebra I. A standard District form will be furnished by the middle school principal .

Students will be counseled at the time of enrollment and again at the end of the school year about their option of receiving credit for this course. Details on the process for getting credit are given later in this document.

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## Rationale And Education Code Requirements

**SB359: :**Pupil achievement in mathematics is important to prepare pupils for college and their future careers, especially those careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics . Placement in appropriate mathematics courses is critically important for a pupil during his or her middle and high school years. A pupils 9th grade math course placement is a crucial crossroads for his or her future educational success. Misplacement in the sequence of mathematics courses creates a number of barriers and results in pupils being less competitive for college admissions, including admissions at the California State University and University of California.

## Is 10th Grade Honors Geometry Hard

Then, is honors geometry hard? Absolutely. It really isnt a harder course than College Prep at all, looks good for college, learn more in depth, weed out a bunch of annoying kids, the teachers care more I took it last year and passed with a high B doing no homework by scoring 100% on every test and quiz.

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