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Algebra II Ain't What It Used to Be

Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy, argues in a Brown Center Chalkboard post that "taking and successfully completing an Algebra II course, which once certified high school students’ mastery of advanced topics in algebra and solid preparation for college-level mathematics, no longer means what it once did."

Loveless observes that increased enrollment in higher level math courses has not coincided with students learning more math and cites studies suggesting "a systematic erosion of the legitimacy of advanced courses."

The ripple effect, he says, is far-reaching:

As unprepared students flow through a series of counterfeit courses, the entire curricular system is corrupted. Algebra II teachers are expected to teach mathematics to students who passed Algebra I with good grades but who, in reality, have not mastered elementary grade concepts that are fundamental to understanding algebra. Parents get false signals about how well their sons and daughters are prepared for college. Schools misallocate resources dedicated to remedial programs by assuming that students know material that they, in fact, do not know.

Read the post.

Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013