NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED502716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
The Misplaced Math Student: Lost in Eighth-Grade Algebra. The 2008 Brown Center Report on American Education. Special Release
Loveless, Tom
Brookings Institution
This new study is being released as an advance excerpt of the 2008 Brown Center Report on American Education. This new report finds that the nation's push to challenge more students by placing them in advanced math classes in eighth grade has had unintended and damaging consequences, as some 120,000 middle-schoolers are now struggling in advanced classes for which they are woefully unprepared. They have not been prepared to learn the mathematics that they are expected to learn. This situation arose from the intention of raising expectations for all American students, but two groups of students pay a price. The misplaced eighth graders waste a year of mathematics, lost in a curriculum of advanced math when they have not yet learned elementary arithmetic. When algebra teachers have to depart from the curriculum to teach arithmetic, the students who already know arithmetic and are ready for algebra also lose. The study makes a variety of reform recommendations that would create a more realistic algebra policy, from early intervention and teaching of basic skills to new research that tests the effectiveness of different approaches to math remediation. As things stand, however, the report concludes, the push for universal eighth grade algebra "is creating more problems than it solves." (Contains 16 notes, 3 figures, and 8 tables.)
Brookings Institution Press. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6000; Fax: 202-797-6004; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution, Brown Center on Education Policy