Common Core Algebra
One of the problems with the mandates of the NCLB Act of 2001 and the mandatory accountability and reporting of annual results that determines whether or not a school could enter program improvement was the resultant actions by administrators to beat the system. The educational reporting system which determines a school’s annual yearly progress (AYP) and the annual progress improvement (API) is determined by the results on state standardized tests. Local Education Agencies (LEA’s) make decisions about the placement of students in classes normally based on the needs and capabilities of the students.
Common Core Algebra - Decisions
But with the requirements of the NCLB Act of 2001 and the resultant consequences for failure to meet these achievement goals, LEA’s made decisions that may have not been in the best interest of our students. Decisions were made based on the predictable outcomes of how to increase the AYP/API, so that their school or district would not be subject to program improvement. Some LEA’s even opted out of receiving federal funds to avoid program improvement.
Most if not everyone involved in education, which includes teachers, administrators, and support staff enter that profession not for the money, but the personal satisfaction of helping students prepare themselves for their chosen career and life. The common core initiative is a step in the right direction. The focus is about preparing our students for careers and college. The foundational core subject for entering college is still language arts and mathematics. Algebra is the foundational course for mathematics.
Common Core Algebra – 8th Grade Course of Instruction
The present situation demands that algebra I be taught in the 8th grade. Edsource (2012) provides a report of why the California Board of Education decides to approve the common core but with modifications. The article reviews whether or not students will be required to take algebra in the 8th grade. Presently, many secondary (high school) students enter the high school level not prepared for algebra I. The big difference at the high school level is the necessity for passing tests providing evidence that he or she has mastered the standards. In middle school, a student can fail assessments and is still promoted to the next grade. This is not the case in high school. If you do not pass the tests you fail and receive no credit.
Edsource (2012). State to adopt common core view of algebra I in 8th grade. Retrieved from http://www.edsource.org/today/2012/state-to-adopt-common-core-view-of-algebra-i-in-8th-grade/18041#.UHjELFFSSkI.