1+2=4 for DeKalb

Last year DeKalb County decided their students needed a more rigorous math curriculum. Are their students more intelligent do you suppose? DeKalb moved algebra down to the 8th grade for all students, and they start freshman year of High School with Geometry.

This immediately strikes me as trouble; I just canít believe that all DeKalb students are ready for Algebra in 8th grade. Will they just fail and get stuck there until they pass? My worries came to light this morning as I was reading the AJC who reported on Georgia studentsí end-of-course exams.

DeKalb county has the worst scores in the entire metro Atlanta area with over 66 percent failing the Algebra end-of-course exam. Shocking, hardly.

3 Comments so far

  1. Amber (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 10:47 am

    When do you think they should have algebra? What do you think the solution is?

    I had algebra in 8th grade and geometry in 9th grade… this was in Augusta, which doesn’t have a much better school system than Atlanta (but for some reason likes to think it does). The “slow” kids had algebra in 9th and geometry in 10th… don’t know what they had in 8th.

  2. Dougal Campbell (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 11:21 am

    I grew up in a small town in southeast Alabama. We had a sort of introductory geometry class in 7th. We had Algebra in 8th and 9th. And from 10th up, you had a choice between more geometry (this time with all the proofs that we loved so much), two more algebras, trigonometry, and “5th year math” (pre-calc). And if you liked math and planned ahead, you could take an AP math course.

    I was a math geek in high school. But I didn’t get to take the AP course, because they didn’t introduce it until my senior year, and I didn’t have a slot in my schedule for it. I did take the pre-calc course, though.

    For all the good it did me. When I got to Tech, differential equations kicked my ass. Twice.

  3. Lisa Kessler (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 12:41 pm

    What I mean is that not ‘all’ students are ready for algebra in 8th grade. Although some are there, shouldn’t there still be an option of another kind of math for students that are not ready for algebra in middle school? That’s just such a gutsy decision for an entire county to make and these end-of-course test scores prove it. So, 66 percent of DeKalb is not passing 8th grade- you must pass all of your end-of-course exams to move onto the next grade.

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