So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

California drops Algebra requirement for 8th graders, dismaying educators

Mercer 15628

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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.  

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LAUSD unveils state-of-the-art science center named for astronaut Sally Ride (video)

Sally Ride enviro center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

The late astronaut Sally Ride's mother Joyce Ride and her sister Bear Ride help with the ribbon-cutting on The Sally Ride Center for Environmental Science at L.A. Unified. Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles helps hold the scissors. School board member Bennett Kayser looks on.

sally ride enviro cneter

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

LAUSD unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park named for Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring students to pursue careers in math and science.

Sally ride enviro center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

A student looks into a microscope at the new Sally Ride Center for Environmental Science at LAUSD.

sally ride enviro center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

LAUSD unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park named for Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring students to pursue careers in math and science. Students listen to 10th-grader Moises Ortiz and 11th-grader Jessica Recendez demonstrate how waterways can be contaminated by rains washing down fertilizer, pesticides and trash.

Sally Ride Enviro Center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

NASA intern and Cal State student Jill Pestana talks about how the late astronaut Sally Ride inspired her to pursue a career in science. LAUSD unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park named for Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of students to pursue careers in math and science.

Sally Ride Enviro Center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

LAUSD unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park named for Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring students to pursue careers in math and science.

Sally Ride Enviro Center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

The late astronaut Sally Ride's mother Joyce Ride and sister Bear Ride pose with the ribbon and scissors. LAUSD unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park named for Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring students to pursue careers in math and science.

Sally Ride Enviro Center

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

The late astronaut Sally Ride's mother Joyce Ride and her sister Bear Ride speak at the unveiling of The Sally Ride Center for Environmental Science at L.A. Unified.


L.A. Unified unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park Monday that bears the name of the late astronaut Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of students to pursue careers in math and science.

The Sally Ride Center for Environmental Science is a $4.8 million LEED-certified facility that sits behind the Sonia M. Sotomayor Learning Academies. The 6,000 square foot facility, less than a mile from the L.A. River, includes three state-of-the-art labs that will focus on areas such as hydrology and energy. The labs have high-tech, professional grade equipment, including a photovoltaic demonstration system, a PH water lab, a centrifuge, and field spectrometers.

The site will be used not only as a hands-on science lab for students who will conduct water and soil testing and energy conservation research, but also to train teachers. 

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