Educated parents want their kids to take algebra in eighth grade, so they’ll be ready for calculus in 12th grade, writes Jay Mathews in the Washington Post. Common Core is doing a lousy job of explaining why bright students should wait till high school to take algebra.Her post avoids what I consider the elephant in the room, and that is that the reason for not offering 8th grade algebra isn't academic at all, it's ideological. If you don't believe me, I direct your attention to this article from San Francisco (of course), in which a San Francisco district spokesperson refers to forcing kids to wait until 9th grade merely to take algebra is a "social justice issue for SFUSD."
Private schools aren’t cutting back on eighth-grade algebra, Mathews writes.
The social justice of which she speaks involves not allowing the brightest students to move ahead at their own pace. It means closing the achievement gap not by improving the low end, but by retarding the high end. It is an admission of failure, and it is morally reprehensible.
I addressed that topic here and here, among others.