OCS wants to keep algebra in middle school

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 16, 2011

Students in the Opp City Schools system who wish to begin higher mathematics in the 8th grade will still have the opportunity to enroll in algebra I in the eighth grade if the board OKs a suggested plan.

Superintendent Michael Smithart said Thursday he met with secondary math teachers who agreed it would be in the best interest of students to continue to offer algebra I as an option even with the new commom core standards.

“What we would do would be to give them the option to take seventh grade math and pre-algebra in the seventh grade,” he said. “Pre-algebra would essentially be their elective. We felt it would be better because you don’t need to take pre-algebra and algebra together.”

Smithart said by doing this, students would still be able to take calculus.

Smithart also said they have discussed only offering algebra II with trigonometry instead of offering that course along with algebra II.

“There are only five standards that are different between the courses,” he said. “And there are only two class differences between a standard diploma and an advanced diploma – algebra II with trig and Spanish II.

“We would like to encourage every student to receive a minimum of advanced diploma since there are only two class differences,” he said.