Why Algebra 1 Help is needed?
Algebra 1 is the first key foundational course in mathematics. Typically, students take and pass this course in the 9th grade of high school even though it may be taken and passed in the 8th grade. It is a very important course of study. In California, all students are required to pass the California High School Exit Examination of CAHSEE. Students take the CAHSEE during the second semester of their sophomore year of high school. According to the CDE (2012), approximately 25% of the students do not pass this test the first time. The resultant failure of this test requires administrative action because students may not graduate without successfully passing this course. If a student fails the CAHSEE, then they will take a CAHSEE intervention course to help them pass the test. Many students have to take the test several times and repeat the intervention courses. This prevents and limits their respective elective courses of study.
Algebra 1 Help - Importance of the Standards
The Algebra 1 standards represent over 50% of the material. Therefore, if a student fails Algebra 1, then he or she will most likely fail the corresponding CAHSEE. In the 2010-2011 academic years, only 48% of African American students pass the CAHSEE the first time in mathematics and only 55% passes the English Language Arts test component. This means that an average of 51.5% of the African American students in the public school will receive an intervention class that prevents them from meeting the A-G qualifications for college. In comparison, the Hispanic or Latino community has a 55% corresponding passing rate. It is not the passing rate, but the failure rate that is alarming and unacceptable.
Algebra 1 Help - Reduces the High School Failure Rates
This means that nearly 53.25% of our growing majority populations is failing Algebra 1 and are in danger of not graduating from high school. The present system does not work. This present course of action continues to rely on failed strategies of instruction and curriculum. These strategies should eliminate strategies that do not work. Only those strategies that ensure the learning and engagement of the majority student population at large should be part of the overall instructional strategies. This will require a change of administration policy and instructional design. These new instructional strategies contain a crucial fix before the upcoming more rigorous common core standards.
As a parent, I would direct my efforts to digital learning resources. There is a wealth of free online resources. The first resource is through the web-based resources of the students’ textbook for Algebra 1. The second resource is using the internet. One such resource is the Khan Academy supported by Bill Gates. But simply a math video on a specific topic is not enough for student's struggling with Algebra in the 9th grade. Most of these students need one on one help. A good place to start is a learning style inventory. Everyone learns differently.
CDE (2012). California High School Exit Examination Results. Retrieved from http://cahsee.cde.ca.gov/ExitEth1.asp?cLevel=State&cYear=2010-11&cChoice=ExitEth1&cAdmin=S&tDate=02/02/11&TestType=M&cGrade=AG&Pageno=1.