Friday, March 22, 2013

Writers Concerned About When To Introduce Algebra Under Common Core

In an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News (3/22, Humphries, Barbara), Paul Humphries, chairman of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation board, and Manny Barbara, SVEF vice president and retired superintendent of the Oak Grove School District, write about the debate in California over when to introduce algebra to students, noting that "the California board of education's recent shift away from promoting Algebra I in eighth grade - a 15-year-old policy - has intensified the discussion." The writers express their concerns that the move will be perceived as a lowering of expectations, and will be "misunderstood to mean that students should not take Algebra I in eighth grade, and that there won't be an accelerated option as part of the new Common Core state standards being implemented beginning in 2014." The writers notes that while Common Core math standards are expected to be rigorous, "they do not preclude exposing students who are ready to Algebra I in eighth grade."

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