If an 8th grader anywhere in California walks into a classroom at 1.5 miles an hour to solve a quadratic equation, what are the chances that she will get into a top-tier university?
The answer: Much better than if the student is a 9th grader.
Turns out the State Board of Education is dropping standards expecting all eighth graders to take Algebra I. And the decision, made last month, is causing some controversy among educators because “Algebra I is the single best predictor of college graduation.”
From now on, students can choose between the more rigorous Algebra I, or an alternate course that contains some Algebra but is more in line with the Common Core curriculum that’s been adopted by the state.
Supporters said it reflects the reality that most middle school students simply aren’t ready for Algebra I. If pushed too soon, they are being set up for failure.