Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some experts question Calif. eighth-graders' readiness for Algebra

Some experts question Calif. eighth-graders' readiness for algebra.

Some members of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, a group tasked by the White House with examining strategies for getting students ready to learn algebra, say California's plan to mandate eighth-grade algebra is unwise. "It's a shortsighted policy that confuses taking a course with learning," said panelist Tom Loveless, a Brookings Institution senior fellow. "The state has not been serious about preparing kids for algebra -- they're just throwing it on the schools. It's absolutely far-fetched." Education Week (premium article access compliments of (7/23)


Anonymous said...

Good source - I agree you should make policy when you know what works. Start with curriculum.

Anonymous said...

CA is on the right track - I was just down there and if you went to a high school they've got all sorts of ways for kids to do credit recovery in cities. Its not an ideal environment, but at least they're educating kids and keeping them in school.

While not perfect College Prep Math if you started the program in sixth grade would also put more kids in college than any other reform program and it will outperfrom traditional textbooks because its students can take algebra in the eighth grade.

The eighth grade policy gives schools something to shoot for, its realistic in terms of what is necessary for being competitive in the world. School just have to be provided with the right tools.

Anonymous said...

More misguided than short-sighted -there is a group of teachers in california who think reform applies to kids living in high end neighborhoods and have access to traditional textbooks.

Cheerleaders who enjoy spending their time oppressing teachers struggling with classrooms in impoverished neighborhoods. They also like pulling legs off flies - I suppose somebody's got to do it, might as well be a math zombie on their fifth facelift and third marriage. Psychotic - they must plan every minute of the their day over a cup of starbucks.

Anonymous said...

California has had an eighth grade algebra standard for many years, the math reformists will never give up on their attack of math education in that state, because lawmakers threw out the DOE's 'exemplary' curriculum. Their reasoning was no curriculum could be purchased by districts that wasn't backed up by independent research.

Overall, despite the economy, California is doing better, but its not because of standards (another piece of face saving propaganda) LAUSD will be a lasting example of lunatic reform.