Jason Zimba in EdWeek
"It is incorrect to say that algebra isn't covered until high school. There is a great deal of algebra in the 8th grade standards. For example, students in grade 8 are expected to solve two simultaneous equations with two unknowns. I don't see a lack of rigor there. The standards actually invest heavily in algebra because of the way they focus so strongly on the prerequisites for algebra in the elementary grades.
I actually think the questions about algebra are better formulated as questions about acceleration. How will kids who are ready for advanced work accelerate to reach courses like calculus during high school? But those are questions for policy, not for standards. The standards don't speak to this issue. Decisions about acceleration and ability grouping are still the purview of local districts, just as they've always been. For example, I've seen where the state of Massachusetts has provided some interesting guidance for districts showing several different models for acceleration, all of them ending at calculus in the senior year of high school."