Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Algebra For All--Why?

The push for algebra isn't having the results that were hoped for:

Spurred by a succession of reports pointing to the importance of algebra as a gateway to college, educators and policymakers embraced “algebra for all” policies in the 1990s and began working to ensure that students take the subject by 9th grade or earlier.

A trickle of studies suggests that in practice, though, getting all students past the algebra hump has proved difficult and has failed, some of the time, to yield the kinds of payoffs educators seek...

The link contains some good news, but not an overwhelming amount.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

While in theory all kids should have all levels of the core classes, the reality is that some kids will advance to a level where they just simply cannot move beyond. Right now, Texas has the "Four by Four" mandate where all high school students must take four classes of Language Arts, Science, Math and Social Studies. On the surface it sounds great. In practice we end up with students retaking coursework over and over or watering down advanced classes so that some will pass. Of course next year we move to End of Course exams. At that point, all bets are off. We still need good math teachers in Texas, Darren. Today's twelve inches of snow aside, the weather is usually good here.