California to require 8th graders to take algebra

If you’ve been reading this blog, you may have seen some of my posts titled “Stupid Math Question of the Day” (they are all tagged “stupid math question”, so you can search for them.) It is unbelievable how many students do not comprehend the basic mathematical concepts needed to succeed in algebra.

California is going to be the first state in the country to require 8th graders to take algebra (registration may be required to view the article.) It was opposed by most educators, citing the need for more money to pay for books, software, and more teachers.

Personally, while I would like to see students take algebra in 8th grade, we need to make sure that all the 9th – 12th graders who take algebra now can succeed before we start making 8th graders take it. This is not going to happen unless there is a change in societal attitudes. I certainly don’t have the answers, but my guesses are in this post.

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4 Responses

  1. I agree. I remember how crazy I thought it was when they said all students had to take it to graduate. I don’t mean this to be demeanind toward anyone, but some students are simply not capable of completing one year of Algebra. Usually this results in students taking such a watered down version of the class that it’s not recognizable which IMHO is a waste of money.

  2. Unfortunately, it will take billions of dollars to change the social and education infrastructure to allow all 8th graders to take algebra in this country. So I don’t think we’ll see it in our lifetimes…

  3. From a woman who had A to B average throughout school and high school EXCEPT for math and the mother of 2 teachers in Ca. and a resident of Ca, I hope that if they do, do this , someone will take the time to help people such as I with Math. As a grown woman who is now a worker of wood I struggle each and every time I walk into my shop with simple mathematics, fractions, inches, etc. There are those of us that just “don’t get it” and I shiver with the thought of me not being able to get out of the eighth grade because of it, on the other hand I wish someone would have took the time to teach me what I still to this day do not get. Working in my shop would be a whole lot easier!
    I love your blog!
    Thanks
    Moon-Writer

  4. Thanks for your comments! People like you who are interested in learning are much easier to teach. I think the problem now is that kids are just simply not interested in learning (otherwise they would not be asking for step-by-step solutions to be handed to them on a silver platter.)

    Getting kids interested has to be the foundation of any solution. Unfortunately I’m not sure how to do that…

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