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ERIC Number: ED530440
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct-14
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Review of "The Misplaced Math Student: Lost in Eighth-Grade Algebra"
Burris, Carol Corbett
Education and the Public Interest Center
The Brookings Institution report questions the efficacy of increasing the number of students who take algebra in eighth grade. Although this policy has resulted in more equitable access to advanced math study, the report argues that a subgroup of students enrolled lack the basic mathematical skills needed to succeed. The report further argues that the presence of lower achievers may weaken the instructional opportunities of highly proficient students. The report recommends that algebra placement be based on student readiness, not grade level. Although the report presents a sound case for better mathematical preparation for all students, the suggested remedy--delaying algebra for most until "readiness" is achieved and allowing fewer students to take algebra in eighth grade--is a flawed solution to address the problem of low achievement. A brief overview of the experience with eighth-grade algebra for all in the district where the reviewer works yields findings consistent with the report's call for better math preparation but inconsistent with its call for fewer to take algebra in eighth grade. (Contains a list of 13 notes and references.) [This paper reviews the following document: "The Misplaced Math Student: Lost in Eighth-Grade Algebra. The 2008 Brown Center Report on American Education. Special Release" (ED502716).]
Education and the Public Interest Center. School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309. Tel: 303-447-EPIC; Fax: 303-492-7090; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, Education and the Public Interest Center; Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress