Beats me. But let's sample some choice quotes from California Educator:
Recognizing that their students needed more support in math, the Allison teachers sought out and developed the Algebra Project at their school site - initially as an after-school program, and then as part of their curriculum. The teachers not only implemented the program, they've worked to make sure it is aligned with state standards.
So they're teaching "algebra" to elementary students who need extra support in math? That pegs out my cynicism meter.
The Algebra Project was founded in 1982 by Harlem-born and Harvard-educated civil rights leader Dr. Robert P. Moses, who once said, "Becoming literate in mathematics is a life-and-death issue for the black community. If we don't get it, we're headed for a new form of serfdom."
No argument there.
Since the program (at the local school) was just implemented in the fall, it has yet to be determined if it will boost test scores, but teachers are hopeful, and researchers at UC Davis are closely monitoring the project and collecting data to determine if introducing algebra at an earlier age is efficacious.
If it is, in fact, "efficacious", that would put lie to the statement that algebra isn't "developmentally appropriate" for 8th graders when ordinary elementary students are doing it. Then again, we don't really know if it's "algebra" that's being taught or just something the school calls algebra.
Not to be lost in the pedagogy is the community organizing aspect of the project.
They had to go there, didn't they?