ERIC Number: EJ998266
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct-24
Reference Count: N/A
Calif. Laws Shift Gears on Algebra, Textbooks
Robelen, Erik W.
Education Week, v32 n9 p1, 11 Oct 2012
New laws in California have set the state on a course for some potentially significant changes to the curriculum, including a measure that revisits the matter of teaching Algebra 1 in 8th grade and another that revamps the state's textbook-adoption process and hands districts greater leeway in choosing instructional materials. The algebra-related legislation, in particular, has been the subject of considerable debate. State officials say it aims to help clear up confusion among school districts about state expectations in the 8th grade with the Common Core State Standards, but critics contend that it will effectively end the state's long-standing embrace of Algebra 1 at that grade level. At issue are additions the state made before adopting the common core, essentially approving two sets of 8th grade math standards. The textbook measure, meanwhile, ends a budget-driven moratorium on adopting new instructional materials, and makes changes to that process, including stating explicitly that districts are free to spend state dollars on materials not on the state-approved list. Glen W. Thomas, a former state secretary of education under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Brown's Republican predecessor, praised the measure, saying it converts state adoption into "more of a "Consumer Reports" for districts." The author reports on how the measures give districts newfound flexibility over buying curriculum materials with state money and when to teach Algebra 1.
Descriptors: State Standards, Algebra, State Programs, Grade 8, State Officials, Textbooks, Educational Legislation, State Legislation, Textbook Selection, Academic Standards, Curriculum Development, School Districts, School District Autonomy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 8
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California