PACE Event

8th Grade Math Placement and Achievement

Implications for District and State Policy

In July of 2008 the State Board of Education passed a motion to make the Algebra I CST the sole 8th grade math test of record for federal accountability purposes, increasing the policy pressure for schools to place more students into that course in 8th grade. That decision was put on hold by the courts, leaving districts and schools without clear direction. With all good intentions, many more schools are placing all their students in Algebra I to ensure equal access, regardless of their prior math preparation. Yet other schools and districts take a more customized approach to placement.

What’s the right thing to do? And how will the adoption of common core math standards change the state’s expectations around this issue?

To address these questions, Trish Williams and Matt Rosin will present new findings from an analysis of longitudinal data on the 7th and 8th grade math and Algebra I CST scores of 70,000 California students.

Jennifer O’Day will share lessons and perspectives from the California Collaborative on District Reform (CDDR) districts on student access and success in algebra and higher level mathematics. The session then touched upon the state’s recent adoption of Common Core state standards, and what their implications are especially for 8th grade math.

The seminar will also feature Deputy State Superintendent Deb Sigman who will explore implications for the state in light of the recent adoption of Common Core.

Speakers include:

Moderated by David N. Plank, Executive Director, PACE