There's troubling talk coming from my school district. As we transition to Common Core standards, the belief is being promulgated that the standards are so high that we shouldn't accelerate students through a math sequence. In fact, we're told "the Common Core people", whoever they are, recommend that no students be accelerated in math until high school. That means that all students are to enter high school ready for Algebra 1 (or the integrated equivalent) and only then can go faster.
Talk about "one size fits all".
Our district, though, will consider accelerating students though Algebra 1 in 8th grade; in other words, what was the standard in California two years ago will now be considered accelerated. Tell me again how Common Core standards are higher? But I digress.
Usually I think that people who claim that there's a concerted effort to dumb everyone down (so they'll vote Democratic) are being hyperbolic, but how else can you explain this idiocy? Seriously, the smartest 8th grader and the dumbest 8th grader belong in the same class? How can anyone who claims to educate kids think that is a good idea?
Here's the idea for how we might accelerate kids in high school--if we accelerate them in junior high. They'll start 9th grade in what we'll call Honors Geometry, which will include a bit more right triangle trig than Geometry currently does. In 10th grade they can take an Honors Algebra 2 with pre-calculus course, as if there's not already enough content in Algebra 2 and pre-calculus. In 11th grade they can take Calc AB, and in 12th grade take either Calc BC or Statistics.
To me we're short-changing them on Algebra 2 and pre-calculus/trigonometry. How does that serve students well?
Update, 5/16/14: It got worse today--the district brass is going to recommend to the school board that we switch over to integrated math. Now what will we do for acceleration, Integrated Math 2.5?