State Scrutinizes Glenfield School for Achievement Gaps Patch.com Glenfield School has been labeled a "Focus School" in the New Jersey Department of Education's “School Performance Reports" because of the school's achievement gaps.
Researchers say middle school algebra classes may do more harm than good for students already struggling with math. This article points out in 2 different parts of the country that advancing students ahead in math can actually be detrimental. Since our nation wants more students to take upper math courses, then we need to figure out the optimum timing for each student to be 'launched' into algebra. If it comes too early even for a moderately good math student they can end up 'feelin' that they are not good at math, causing them to not take upper level courses in high school.
Eighth Grade Algebra seems to be the elephant in the room with Common Core State Standards and there has not been a real clear way on how to handle this. I have spoken with district and state curriculum directors and they are still waiting to decide exactly how to ensure the option is there and that they meet common core standards and assessments.
The problem: 8th grade algebra has long been the standard for students going to college. It puts them on track to complete pre-calculus or AP calculus in their senior year maximizing their college transcript. Common Core State Standards does not have specific guidance on 8th grade algebra but introduces algebra concepts throughout middle school.
"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."
CCSSM includes grade-level content standards that represent a balance of conceptual understanding and skills. Based on the NCTM Process Standards, CCSSM’s Standards for Mathematical Practice describe the characteristics of mathematically proficient students, providing us with guidelines for effective instructional pedagogy.
"Eighth-grade students who are "algebra ready" and take an online Algebra I course because their schools do not offer the class, outperform their peers in algebra knowledge and are twice as likely to take advanced mathematics classes in high school."
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