San Diego, California (WiredPRNews.com) — Under a policy approved by the state Board of Education, all eighth grade students in California will be made to take Algebra 1 beginning in 2011. The education board has decided to provide and make algebra testing compulsory in the eighth grade even when there were strong objections faced by Jack O’Connell, the state’s elected school chief.
Connell blamed the education board for demanding high standards and declared that the board will be required to hire extra resources as there is a shortage of algebra teachers. Also, there is a need to prepare the student’s mind to learn the rigorous field in the class. Connell also mentioned that he fears they are setting up their students for failure but he also confesses that he hopes to be proven wrong.
According to the President of the board, Ted Mitchell, there exists an “unequivocally one set of standards for all kids, no matter what their zip code, race or income level.” The decision that children in California prove their abilities when the standards are set high was also given due support by business groups along with the chancellor, Diane Woodruff.
The proposition of adding Algebra 1 in high school academics has been a requirement since 2004. Students are expected to qualify in the Algebra 1 testing in the eighth grade but they can take the class anytime before completing graduation.
The approximate number of eighth graders is about 500,000 in public schools but currently, only 52% of the students take Algebra 1 and the eighth graders who are not enrolled in the same field have to take an extra exam such as the general math of the California Standards Test.
Wired Education Reporter / Online News distribution service