Common Core State Standards Make Math Course Sequences Even More Important

Neal Finklestein

WestEd’s Neal Finkelstein recently delivered a presentation to the California State Board of Education regarding course taking in mathematics in light of the Common Core State Standards.

As Finkelstein explained in his presentation, studies show that the order in which students take math courses matters.

  • Students who do well in Algebra 1 in 8th grade move through higher-level math classes more easily.
  • Students who take Algebra 1 later than 8th grade have less opportunity for additional, higher-level math classes.
  • Students who repeat Algebra 1 seldom become proficient in Algebra.

Now, Common Core Standards are making Algebra 1 even more rigorous. The new standards place more emphasis on mathematics in elementary school to ensure that more students are ready to succeed in Algebra 1 in 8th grade.

Finkelstein is a Senior Research Scientist at WestEd.

Source: California Department of Education
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  1. […] Students who do well in Algebra 1 in 8th grade move through higher-level math classes more easily.Students who take Algebra 1 later than 8th grade have less opportunity for additional, higher-level math classes.Students who repeat Algebra 1 seldom become proficient in Algebra.  […]