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ERIC Number: ED526854
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
Raising Expectations for Mathematics Instruction in California: Algebra and beyond. Policy and Practice Brief
Bitter, Catherine; O'Day, Jennifer
California Collaborative on District Reform
As expectations for students to meet high academic standards have risen over the past two decades, so have the expectations for students to complete, and excel in, more rigorous mathematics courses. Once a course reserved only for the college-bound, algebra is now a graduation requirement for all California students as well as an early "gateway" into a college preparatory program. In recent years, pressure has mounted for students to clear this gateway earlier and earlier; while most districts now require algebra in ninth grade, some do so in grade 8 and some offer it as early as seventh grade for some of their students. Meanwhile, data in most districts reveal large discrepancies among student groups in both their enrollment in and their successful completion of Algebra I. Ensuring success in algebra for all students involves several key areas of attention and action for districts. These include the creation of a strong K-12 mathematics curriculum, appropriate placement of students in mathematics courses, enhancement of current instructional capacity in mathematics, and provision of additional supports for struggling students. In today's fiscal climate, finding funds to address these issues is perhaps the greatest challenge of all, but the recent infusion of one-time funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) may provide new opportunities. This brief draws on dialogue and investigation among the district practitioners, researchers, and policymakers participating in the California Collaborative on District Reform. This brief discusses ways in which districts can approach these issues given the current fiscal and political context in California. It also provides recommendations for strategies the state can use to support districts in these efforts. (Contains 2 footnotes.)
California Collaborative on District Reform. Available from: American Institutes for Research. 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007. Tel: 202-403-5000; Fax: 202-403-5001; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
Authoring Institution: California Collaborative on District Reform
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009
IES Cited: ED546776; ED548534