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Jann in TX

Musings about the Common Core and high school Math (longish)

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Sure, absolutely - but even my A/C guy said he needs trigonometry in his job.

 

 

 

 

I completely agree. But instead of expecting wonders from new standards, it would be more helpful to have qualified mathematics teachers who actually understand the math and can teach it. That would go a long way to wards improvement.

Well that would be true in many subjects. One of the more demoralizing moments in my MS Ed classes was the "Teaching Composition" class (ostensibly about teaching students to write) listening to the undergrad level students complaining about how much they didn't know how to write and didn't enjoy writing. Sort of left me scratching my head.

 

There is such emphasis on education classes and not enough on subject courses IMHO. But that strays from the topic of the OP.

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Is no one else concerned about the fact that in states with CC adoptions that the community colleges and universities can no longer give their own math placement exams and place students in remedial math if the student has passed a CC test saying they are ready for pre-cal/trig?   Considering how many students that have passed math course SOLs and still place in low level remedial work, is it not a valid concern?   Is the fact that the universities are losing their autonomy over the issue not problematic?  (I mean at this pt they can reject AP exams if they want to, but they will be forced to accept what is essentially a ps exit exam that they have no control over.   Could that not end up lowering what is in a supposed pre-cal or trig class b/c they have to place the students in the class?  Though I guess there is nothing saying that the students have to be able to pass the class.  :tongue_smilie: )

 

 

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Is no one else concerned about the fact that in states with CC adoptions that the community colleges and universities can no longer give their own math placement exams and place students in remedial math if the student has passed a CC test saying they are ready for pre-cal/trig?   

 

Yes, I think this is a big concern.  

 

I think it is important to note that the common core has Algebra II standards in place (although James Milgram argues that these standards are not thorough).  And yes, the Common Core leaves room for higher level math.  But the issue I have is that there are not any standards for those higher level maths.  If we want our students to be competitive internationally, then I believe this is something that must happen.  Here is an article comparing Wurman's (against CC) and Wilson's (for CC) views (click on their names at the top of the article to get their bios): http://educationnext.org/the-common-core-math-standards/.  Wilson, who is FOR CC says this: "When you are so far behind, comparing the United States with better-performing countries through the incredibly narrow lens of standards doesn’t make a lot of sense. I think Common Core is in the same ball park, certainly not up there with the best of countries, but Common Core isn’t up there with the best state standards either....."  Even Dr. Wilson, who has his PhD. from MIT and is a mathematics professor at Johns Hopkins, agrees that these standards are not on par with our best state standards (although he does say earlier in the article they are better than about 30 state standards).  

Conversely, Wurman states, "Steve (Dr. Wilson) sees the benefit of having Common Core standards that are better than those of “more than 30 states,†while I see the disadvantage of confining the whole nation to mediocre standards that are worse than those of highly rated states and high-achieving countries.Taking this a step further, I believe the Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government."

I think these two positions may sum up the views of many people on this board.  While the standards may elevate math in many states, they do not go far enough in some people's opinions, including my own.  Personally I care about this because I care about our young people.  As a homeschooling parent, I am going to keep on teaching like I always have.  I really think that the testing is going to be easier for our students because precalculus will not be required.

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Is no one else concerned about the fact that in states with CC adoptions that the community colleges and universities can no longer give their own math placement exams and place students in remedial math if the student has passed a CC test saying they are ready for pre-cal/trig?   Considering how many students that have passed math course SOLs and still place in low level remedial work, is it not a valid concern?   Is the fact that the universities are losing their autonomy over the issue not problematic?  (I mean at this pt they can reject AP exams if they want to, but they will be forced to accept what is essentially a ps exit exam that they have no control over.   Could that not end up lowering what is in a supposed pre-cal or trig class b/c they have to place the students in the class?  Though I guess there is nothing saying that the students have to be able to pass the class.  :tongue_smilie: )

 

Dh and I were talking about this last night too. I can't believe that CCS can dictate anything at all to universities. It is ridiculous.

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Is no one else concerned about the fact that in states with CC adoptions that the community colleges and universities can no longer give their own math placement exams and place students in remedial math if the student has passed a CC test saying they are ready for pre-cal/trig? 

Link please  because I can't find any source for this by googling.  Also is there a link to the common core placement test for PreCalculus/Trig because I cannot find any common core standards for PreCalc.  I could find California's standards for PreCalc but those are state standards.

The community colleges that hubby and I are considering for our kids are still running placement exams for math and english.  "Some students may be EXEMPT from placement testing IF they have completed college-level coursework in English, Math, Chemistry and Biology (college transcript proof required)."

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Link please  because I can't find any source for this by googling.

From what I think I understand it is part of Race to the Top which is connected to federal funding from Common Core.

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This is the post by 8 in the other thread which explains the source and implications.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/497900-fyi-collegeboard-middle-school-math-program-california-comon-core-ed/?p=5392751

 

 

Basically, part of CCS is an agreement that colleges will accept students who have passed the SBAC as "college ready" meaning that no matter the actual skill level of the student, colleges will be required to put them into a credit-based math course rather than a remedial one. There are also some problems with the transfer agreements between 2 & 4 year colleges and the contents of those courses.

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Link please because I can't find any source for this by googling. Also is there a link to the common core placement test for PreCalculus/Trig because I cannot find any common core standards for PreCalc. I could find California's standards for PreCalc but those are state standards.

The community colleges that hubby and I are considering for our kids are still running placement exams for math and english. "Some students may be EXEMPT from placement testing IF they have completed college-level coursework in English, Math, Chemistry and Biology (college transcript proof required)."

Didn't find a reference to changes in comm college placement. But this was interesting in that AP Calculus was being discouraged while an AP Algebra was proposed. Hmm.

 

I think I will have to step away from the debate. My main focus has to remain teaching my kids.

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Link please  because I can't find any source for this by googling. 

 

Maybe something like this from http://www.smarterbalanced.org/higher-education/ :

 

 

Continued collaboration with higher education leaders and faculty is critical to our success. Representatives from higher education are involved in key design decisions—with the goal that colleges and universities across Smarter Balanced member states will accept an agreed-upon achievement level on the assessment as evidence that high school students are ready for entry level, credit-bearing coursework.

 

That sounds to me like the goal is to have the member states agree that their schools will not administer their own assessments but will agree that the CC test covers readiness for credit work. Note that they clearly say elsewhere this is not a replacement for the SAT.

 

Also this from http://www.smarterbalanced.org/achievement-level-descriptors-and-college-readiness/ :

 

 

The draft initial ALDs and college content-readiness policy framework are part of a critical effort to ensure that the grade 11 summative assessment can be used as evidence that students are ready for entry-level, transferable, credit-bearing courses in English and mathematics and should be exempted from remedial coursework.

 

 

I do think it sounds like there is a desire to replace CC assessments with a Common Core test. What happens if the college takes the student into a credit class based on their test score and then they do not perform satisfactorily? Then can they be moved to a remedial course? Perhaps that will be negotiated as states agree to participate. 

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From what I think I understand it is part of Race to the Top which is connected to federal funding from Common Core.

 

 

This is the post by 8 in the other thread which explains the source and implications.

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/497900-fyi-collegeboard-middle-school-math-program-california-comon-core-ed/?p=5392751

 

 

Maybe something like this from http://www.smarterbalanced.org/higher-education/ :

 

Think I found the description but did not say Community Colleges will be coerced to agree or the connection at community college level to the Race to the top funds.  I think if a college student does not make satisfactory progress in whatever math or english class the person is place in, the student probably have to re-do the same module.

 

"33. Will performance on the Smarter Balanced assessment have any impact on students’ college experience?

Yes.  Smarter Balanced Governing States have agreed on a College Content-readiness Policy that guarantees exemption from developmental coursework to students who perform at an agreed-upon level on the grade 11 summative assessment and meet state requirements set jointly by K-12 and higher education for grade 12 course taking and performance.  In 2014-15, after the Field Test is complete and preliminary performance standards have been set, colleges and universities in Smarter Balanced Governing States will be asked to agree to abide by this policy beginning with students who enter college in fall 2016.  To help colleges and universities make this decision, Smarter Balanced will provide information on how scores on the grade 11 assessment compare to scores on commonly used admission and placement examinations and conduct a series of studies of predictive and consequential validity." (FAQ link)

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"33. Will performance on the Smarter Balanced assessment have any impact on students’ college experience?

Smarter Balanced Governing States have agreed on a College Content-readiness Policy that guarantees exemption from developmental coursework to students who perform at an agreed-upon level on the grade 11 summative assessment and meet state requirements set jointly by K-12 and higher education for grade 12 course taking and performance.  In 2014-15, after the Field Test is complete and preliminary performance standards have been set, colleges and universities in Smarter Balanced Governing States will be asked to agree to abide by this policy beginning with students who enter college in fall 2016.  To help colleges and universities make this decision, Smarter Balanced will provide information on how scores on the grade 11 assessment compare to scores on commonly used admission and placement examinations and conduct a series of studies of predictive and consequential validity." (FAQ link)

 

 

(Sorry I can't seem to un-bold or fix the fonts.)

 

It seems muddy.

 

It's like the first sentence says they've agreed to guarantee this, the second sentence is asking them to start in fall of 2016 to what they've already agree to, and the third sentence makes it sound like the agreement in the first sentence never happened.

 

Maybe I'm not reading it right. I dunno.

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"33. Will performance on the Smarter Balanced assessment have any impact on students’ college experience?

Yes.  Smarter Balanced Governing States have agreed on a College Content-readiness Policy that guarantees exemption from developmental coursework to students who perform at an agreed-upon level on the grade 11 summative assessment and meet state requirements set jointly by K-12 and higher education for grade 12 course taking and performance.  In 2014-15, after the Field Test is complete and preliminary performance standards have been set, colleges and universities in Smarter Balanced Governing States will be asked to agree to abide by this policy beginning with students who enter college in fall 2016.  To help colleges and universities make this decision, Smarter Balanced will provide information on how scores on the grade 11 assessment compare to scores on commonly used admission and placement examinations and conduct a series of studies of predictive and consequential validity." (FAQ link)

 

 

And what is that supposed to achieve? Why can't they simply leave it up to the colleges to give their own placement tests and decide whether the students are ready for their institution? What can this possibly have to do with their 11th grade standardized test performance? Because, we all know that they retain all they ever crammed for a test, in the long term, right?

We get students with AP calc who have forgotten all their trigonometry and place in remedial trig. I'm sure they knew it at the end of 11th grade, but that does not help them 1.5 years later.

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We get students with AP calc who have forgotten all their trigonometry and place in remedial trig. I'm sure they knew it at the end of 11th grade, but that does not help them 1.5 years later.

This is totally off-topic.  What I don't understand is why do people "slough" through AP Calc and not retain the knowledge. 

Where I come from, people sit for the Cambridge math exams at the end of high school which test 2 years of math knowledge.  The guys then go on to serve their 2.5 years of compulsory military service before going to the university.  All my engineering classmates who had served their military service retained their calculus knowledge and need no remedial. Trigonometry was taught in 9th grade and no one in the sciences or engineering need remedial despite a 4 years gap for the guys.

 

I do agree a grade 11 summative assessment is a silly substitute for placement tests.  Besides some students may decide to work a few years before going to community college so how long does this grade 11 summative assessment stay relevant. I remember GMAT scores were good for only 2 years and TOEFL for 5 years when used for admission purpose.

 

 

 

It's like the first sentence says they've agreed to guarantee this, the second sentence is asking them to start in fall of 2016 to what they've already agree to, and the third sentence makes it sound like the agreement in the first sentence never happened.

 

I think the 1st sentence means SBAC has agreed to the policy.  The 2nd sentence is saying colleges will be asked to agree in the 2015 time frame. The 3rd sentence is saying what SBAC will provide to help colleges make their choice.

 

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This is what I found for PARCC from Massachusetts's DoE page. Did not explicitly say anything about the PARCC test replacing the community college placement tests.

 

"•Core to College initiative in Massachusetts supports:

•The implementation and use of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
•A statewide definition of college and career readiness.
•The development of PARCC next-generation assessment to indicate students readiness for college and career without the need of remediation in English Language Arts and Mathematics."
 
This is from the Core to College page
"Creating the conditions that lead to the adoption by post-secondary institutions of the CCSS assessments as a determinant of a student’s readiness for credit-bearing course enrollment."

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Here's something I found wrt RttT. Maybe this is what 8 was talking about:

 

 

 

To buttress the link between K-12 and postsecondary success, the RttT grant's developers installed various guidelines to maintain alignment with college readiness. Applicants coordinating test development with the corresponding state four-year postsecondary education systems, and allowing students performing at a certain level to bypass remedial course requirements, received competitive priority.

 

This is from http://www.nacacnet.org/media-center/briefing/commonstandards/Pages/RacetotheTop.aspx at the web site for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. It sounds like if you agree that the test can be used to bypass remedial courses, you get priority over RttT funds. So it doesn't sound as if it's required, but there does appear to be a link.

 

I still can't tell if the decision to participate will be at the state member level, the district level, or the postsecondary institution level.

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It is unlikely that you would be accepted by today's standards.   From W&M's website:  http://www.wm.edu/admission/undergraduateadmission/faqs/academics/index.php

 

 

This is not a minor issue.

 

So the the talented Art person who is math impaired has to go elsewhere? What a stupid trend. I thought that W&M was more of a liberal arts school. If MIT or RPI stated this requirement then it would make more sense.  

 

Not everyone is good at STEM nor want to be. 

Once again, one size fits all. The so-called well rounded person. Jack of all trades, master of none.

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So the the talented Art person who is math impaired has to go elsewhere? What a stupid trend. I thought that W&M was more of a liberal arts school. If MIT or RPI stated this requirement then it would make more sense.

 

Not everyone is good at STEM nor want to be.

Once again, one size fits all. The so-called well rounded person. Jack of all trades, master of none.

This is really OT for this thread, but whether we agree with their policies or not, it is what you see across the board at all more selective schools. The other side of the argument is that STEM schools want students with AP English and history credits or top critical reading/English SAT scores (preferably starting with 7). Basically they want the best of the best all around. This quote pretty much sums it up "We prefer a student take full advantage of his/her most challenging curriculum at the high school. Whatever curriculum your high school deems most rigorous, that is what we prefer." That is directly from W&M.

 

Like all things, there are going to be exceptions and I am sure that they accept that exceptional outlier, but I am equally sure that exceptional outlier has a major hook oF some kind that makes them stand out against all the other applicants. But, when you are dealing with the top national schools, W&M is ranked 32 nationally, they have a really competitive applicant pool and they have come up with their own filtering process for applicants. I am clueless as to how or why they do what they do, but when a comment is published on their admissions web page, I wouldn't dismiss it lightly if attendance is a goal.

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Just jumping in with my personal experience with CC and math.  My ds started public school this year, 8th grade, and I tried to enroll him Alg 1 but the math director at his school insisted he be in Math 8.  He and his sister both finished Chalkdust prealgebra in 7th grade, and she was put in Alg 1 in the public school in 8th grade and did very well.  But with similar preparation, they insisted ds be put in Math 8.  He ended up taking the end of year Math 8 test to see if he knew enough of the concepts...he pretty much bombed it.

 

After researching the CC Math 8 requirements, I realized that he had not, in fact, learned many of them. 

 

Not sure what this means for high school...dd is on the traditional sequence, and ds will take CC Alg 1 in 9th grade. 

 

At first I was really upset about ds not taking Alg 1 this year, but now I think it will all turn out for the best in the long run. 

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Well and then you can just wait 4 years until they ditch common core for the next buzz word.

 

I guess my plan is to keep doing what I'm doing.

 

 

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But the issue I have is that there are not any standards for those higher level maths.  If we want our students to be competitive internationally, then I believe this is something that must happen.

 

FWIW, this very issue is discussed in an op-ed yesterday in the WSJ by a professor who is a former member of the CC Validation Committee:  Common Core Doesn't Add Up to STEM Success; the high school standards are too weak to give us more engineers or scientists

 

I wish the article had more detail.  Zimba and Milgram are both quoted briefly.

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Really? bc afaik our local CCs are still giving placement tests. Friend took one a few weeks ago..

The standards aren't in place. Jrs have not taken the exams which exempt them from placement tests.

"33. Will performance on the Smarter Balanced assessment have any impact on students’ college experience?

Yes. Smarter Balanced Governing States have agreed on a College Content-readiness Policy that guarantees exemption from developmental coursework to students who perform at an agreed-upon level on the grade 11 summative assessment and meet state requirements set jointly by K-12 and higher education for grade 12 course taking and performance. In 2014-15, after the Field Test is complete and preliminary performance standards have been set, colleges and universities in Smarter Balanced Governing States will be asked to agree to abide by this policy beginning with students who enter college in fall 2016. ."

 

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FWIW, this very issue is discussed in an op-ed yesterday in the WSJ by a professor who is a former member of the CC Validation Committee:  Common Core Doesn't Add Up to STEM Success; the high school standards are too weak to give us more engineers or scientists

 

I wish the article had more detail.  Zimba and Milgram are both quoted briefly.

For those who can't read the article on the WSJ, here is an alternative link. http://www.educationviews.org/common-core-add-stem-success/

 

Fwiw, w/o looking, I believe she is the other person that refused to sign the CC standards that wrote the original linked article by mjbucks1

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For those who can't read the article on the WSJ, here is an alternative link. http://www.educationviews.org/common-core-add-stem-success/

 

Fwiw, w/o looking, I believe she is the other person that refused to sign the CC standards that wrote the original linked article by mjbucks1

 

Also, for anyone interested, the author is interviewed at length in a local Massachusetts tv show here. The second half of the interview is here.

 

For those who didn't see 8FilltheHeart's link on the other thread, Stotsky and Milgram also authored a white paper, PDF available for download here (this appears to be an official publication of the paper; 8's post also includes a rebuttal by Zimba).  Stotsky has authored some other articles on the same website about CC, easy to find for those interested in her critique.

 

Eta, late in the second video, she mentions the coming science standards and something about the near-disappearance of chemistry...

 

(As an aside, Stotsky has some specific criticisms of the ELA standards here.  Apparently the earlier underpinnings for later higher-level standards are lacking.)

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Thank you all for the extra links and information. As much as I would like to stick my head in the sand on the issue of Common Core, I can't. Yes, I can continue to educate my youngest to the best of my ability, but he will be attending college with the first of the students affected by the new Common core. More importantly, those students that are products of this system will be our doctors, surgeons, and pharmacists. They will be the engineers that design our bridges and airplanes. They will be our politicians and our journalists. Think hard. Can any of us really afford to stick our heads in the sand and keep quiet?  Historically, what has happened to countries that depleted their supply of well-educated teachers and professors?

 

I have nothing against well-thought-out and well-executed standards, but when those standards are executed by the few for the profit of a few, I have some serious doubts.

 

We have survived educational fads before, but never have we had standards, testing companies, and textbook suppliers so well-aligned and not necessarily for the benefit of the students.

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What a can of worms this is, just to read about and to try to understand the upshot of it all.  I could go on and on and on quoting from the following interesting link, a FAQ with Milgram:  http://ssccinfo.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/drmilgramcc-mathquestionsv2-with-responses.pdf (emphasis added)

 

How does CC diminish STEM education? 

 

It doesn't. It's just that when one does not require high schools to give more than three years of mathematics culminating in Algebra II, then the chances of a district offering more advanced courses like linear algebra, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus become much more dependent on the average wealth of the district. As a result, there is a de facto lowering of the opportunities for students coming from less wealthy districts, particularly in STEM areas. Here is the actual data from the 1990's: 

If students can't make it to Calc by twelfth grade, how does that impact their choice of colleges? 

 

For the most part, it is pre-calculus that matters. Of course, it is more and more the case at the elite schools like Stanford that calculus is regarded as somewhat remedial. For example, the course with the largest single enrollment at Stanford is the Fall Quarter advanced calculus course, Math 51. By the end of their freshman year, over 2/3 of the students will have had at least one quarter of advanced calculus. 

 

This one caught my eye and explains something that I've been sensing intuitively, something "fuzzy" (i.e., fuzzy math):

Many parents are seeing a new way to teach math in the early grades that only seems to make the students frustrated and lose interest. Based on your expertise, is the approach being taught under Common Core at the elementary level appropriate? 

 

This is actually interesting. Common Core does not suggest the approaches that are being used, but when the teachers and, above all, their supervisors and instructors, do not understand the mathematics that is actually being presented in CC, they seem to interpret the CC standards to mean things the authors did not expect. Basically, it seems that they focus on the “Standards for Mathematical Practice†and interpret these as though they were the old 1989 NCTM standards, so all the old verbiage from the 1990's is repeated in Professional Development sessions for CC, and the programs that we got rid of nearly 20 years ago are being readopted by the schools.

 

 

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Just jumping in with my personal experience with CC and math.  My ds started public school this year, 8th grade, and I tried to enroll him Alg 1 but the math director at his school insisted he be in Math 8.  He and his sister both finished Chalkdust prealgebra in 7th grade, and she was put in Alg 1 in the public school in 8th grade and did very well.  But with similar preparation, they insisted ds be put in Math 8.  He ended up taking the end of year Math 8 test to see if he knew enough of the concepts...he pretty much bombed it.

 

After researching the CC Math 8 requirements, I realized that he had not, in fact, learned many of them. 

 

Not sure what this means for high school...dd is on the traditional sequence, and ds will take CC Alg 1 in 9th grade. 

 

At first I was really upset about ds not taking Alg 1 this year, but now I think it will all turn out for the best in the long run. 

I believe the school did it right this time. Parts of "old" Algebra I were moved to so-called 8th grade math in CC. The worse scenario is that your son would not have a good solid foundation in basic Algebra.  If he finds his Math 8 course too easy then start to supplement with Khan Academy etc.

 

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Thank you all for the extra links and information. As much as I would like to stick my head in the sand on the issue of Common Core, I can't. Yes, I can continue to educate my youngest to the best of my ability, but he will be attending college with the first of the students affected by the new Common core. More importantly, those students that are products of this system will be our doctors, surgeons, and pharmacists. They will be the engineers that design our bridges and airplanes. They will be our politicians and our journalists. Think hard. Can any of us really afford to stick our heads in the sand and keep quiet? Historically, what has happened to countries that depleted their supply of well-educated teachers and professors?

 

I have nothing against well-thought-out and well-executed standards, but when those standards are executed by the few for the profit of a few, I have some serious doubts.

 

We have survived educational fads before, but never have we had standards, testing companies, and textbook suppliers so well-aligned and not necessarily for the benefit of the students.

In theory, Lisa, I agree with you. But, in reality, I am far removed from ps and have always disagreed with their methodology, so this isn't a new distaste. What really concerns me is that what I predict is going to happen is that the divide between the really well-educated and the generally accepted/believed to be well-educated divide is just going to end up even more pronounced and selectivity is going to be the filter.

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FWIW, this very issue is discussed in an op-ed yesterday in the WSJ by a professor who is a former member of the CC Validation Committee:  Common Core Doesn't Add Up to STEM Success; the high school standards are too weak to give us more engineers or scientists

 

 

Everybody with their sound bites so they can get their fifteen minutes of fame.  First of all CC was designed as a one size fits all program (not really a good thing). No matter what the rhetoric about STEM to help sell it, I believe that CC Math is a baseline college prep program that must have follow on math classes which almost every state in the union also realizes.

 

We all have god given talents and a school standard can't change that.  Should the high school basketball team have to make a spot for my child if he can't hit the broadside of a barn.  Should we spend a lot of money to get my child so he can make 25% of his baskets?

 

The intent of the CC math standards are fine but some of the implementations are horrible especially at the Elementary school level.

 

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We all have god given talents and a school standard can't change that.  Should the high school basketball team have to make a spot for my child if he can't hit the broadside of a barn.  Should we spend a lot of money to get my child so he can make 25% of his baskets?

 

That is a very bad comparison, since basketball is something completely unnecessary for the ability of a person to function in society. I sure hope that schools WILL work with a struggling math student to get him to improve, and yes, spend a lot of money on it if needed.

And I am saying this as a parent of gifted students, whose biggest complaint is that math education (and any ps education really) in this country neglects the needs of the top students - but there is no question in my mind that society also needs to invest into educating the weak students in core areas such as reading and mathematics.

 

This has nothing to do with Common Core.

 

The stance of "god given talents" really irks me: is dyslexia god given? Should schools work hard to remediate dyslexia or dyscalculia, or do you advocate that we accept that these students to be illiterate or incapable to do basic math?

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That is a very bad comparison, since basketball is something completely unnecessary for the ability of a person to function in society. I sure hope that schools WILL work with a struggling math student to get him to improve, and yes, spend a lot of money on it if needed.

And I am saying this as a parent of gifted students, whose biggest complaint is that math education (and any ps education really) in this country neglects the needs of the top students - but there is no question in my mind that society also needs to invest into educating the weak students in core areas such as reading and mathematics.

 

This has nothing to do with Common Core.

 

The stance of "god given talents" really irks me: is dyslexia god given? Should schools work hard to remediate dyslexia or dyscalculia, or do you advocate that we accept that these students to be illiterate or incapable to do basic math?

I agree with everything you have written. It's as if it is simply a given that huge swatch of students aren't capable of higher levels of math, so just accept it and move on and let them be successful without the effort of teaching them those topics.

 

Why is chemistry any different? How many people need to understand moles or joules in their daily life? Why read difficult poetry, Shakespeare, or ancient classics when most people only read materials published aimed at a 6th grade level in general daily life?

 

The entire mentality boggles my mind.

 

As the parent of kids who have REALLY struggled to master reading and writing, I know,that students are capable of great success even in the very subjects that they struggle in the most. Isn't that the purpose of teaching? To not leave them floundering but educated?

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1) That is a very bad comparison, since basketball is something completely unnecessary for the ability of a person to function in society. I sure hope that schools WILL work with a struggling math student to get him to improve, and yes, spend a lot of money on it if needed.

 

 

2) The stance of "god given talents" really irks me: is dyslexia god given? Should schools work hard to remediate dyslexia or dyscalculia, or do you advocate that we accept that these students to be illiterate or incapable to do basic math?

 

1) It was meant to be an extreme comparison. Not all students can legitimately complete Algebra 2 and fully understand it sorry.

 

2) This is absurd, of course a handicap is not a "god given talent".  I have one gifted child (tested) and one severely autistic (non-verbal) child. They both have different needs.

 

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We all have god given talents and a school standard can't change that.  Should the high school basketball team have to make a spot for my child if he can't hit the broadside of a barn.  Should we spend a lot of money to get my child so he can make 25% of his baskets?

 

 

No, but I don't think the competitive math team should be forced to make spots for anyone who wants one either. I don't think we should spend a lot of money trying to get more students ready for math competitions and push uninterested students into competing, which is a much better analogy to the extracurricular basketball competitions.

 

However, I do think that students should learn the math they need to function in society, just like I think students for whom reading doesn't come naturally should be pushed to learn to read. Just because they are not capable of the full curriculum doesn't mean that we should stop teaching them at all -- it means that we should see what they *can* learn and teach them that.

 

And FWIW, I also strongly support adapted physical education for students who have motor difficulties, based around them learning lifetime physical activities which will keep them in as healthy and fit a body as they can (which, frankly, should be the goal of regular physical education in elementary school imo). That doesn't mean we have to put them on a competitive team.

 

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Who's selectivity will be the filter?

 

I feel like I am reading the worst kind of homeschool snobbery here and it makes no sense.  99% of students in the most selective universities come from schools, not home schools so where is this snobbery coming from?

 

Selective colleges will select students with more rigorous backgrounds, as usual.  This presents a problem for students located in poor districts which use CC as a reason not to offer more.  While this was likely already a problem prior to CC, CC may exacerbate the differences in education levels offered among districts.

 

Homeschooling snobbery is not relevant.  What is relevant are differences between relatively more wealthy and less wealthy districts and how much CC affects the levels of education that they offer respectively.

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1) It was meant to be an extreme comparison. Not all students can legitimately complete Algebra 2 and fully understand it sorry.

 

2) This is absurd, of course a handicap is not a "god given talent".  I have one gifted child and one severely autistic (non-verbal) child. They have both have different needs.

 

 

This leads us to another question, that of standards vs graduation requirements.  It seems to me that grad requirements, or different types of diplomas, may be the place to account for individual differences among student abilities and goals, say college prep vs non-college prep (or, say, similar to Regents vs non-Regents in NYS in the old days LOL).  We are also left with the examples of more rigorous countries where most of the students graduate with, say, calc (or at least precalc).  Maybe there could be some sort of exemptions available for students with LDs and/or special needs.  (eta, obviously I am just thinking out loud here; maybe there are other ideas for accounting for individual abilities, to have standards that are not lowered and are somehow not one size fits all)

 

Still, there is the widespread practical problem of elementary math instruction insufficient in quality.  That drives the possibilities and seeming impossibilities for even average students at the secondary level.

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In theory, Lisa, I agree with you. But, in reality, I am far removed from ps and have always disagreed with their methodology, so this isn't a new distaste. What really concerns me is that what I predict is going to happen is that the divide between the really well-educated and the generally accepted/believed to be well-educated divide is just going to end up even more pronounced and selectivity is going to be the filter.

 

I expressed this exact sentiment to my kids and husband last night.  One of the members of the validation committee for the Common Core has stated that the Common Core standards are going to dumb down an already dumbed-downed curriculum by one or two more grades.  I am seeing this played out first-hand already: My local public school has now eliminated the gifted math program in order to be in compliance with Common Core.  Students at my public school will not be able to accelerate in math until their junior year of high school, when last year the ability to accelerate began in 6th grade. 

 

My area has some of the top rated public schools in my state.  I know some of the teachers that teach at these schools.  None is happy with the Common Core.

 

Families that can afford it will be forced to send their children to private schools because the public schools will no longer be able to provide an appropriate education.  The children from less affluent families will have no choice but to attend the dumbed-down public schools and the gap between the haves and have nots will continue to widen.

 

On a related note, one of the elite private schools in my area is drastically reducing the amount of AP classes that they are offering to its students.  The administration explained to the parents that they are not happy with the rigor of the AP curriculum and the school is  beginning to model their curriculum after the East Coast boarding schools.  As the College Board continues to dumb-down its AP courses (for example, next year AP Physics B will effectively be a two year course rather than a one year course), I think more private schools with well established academic reputations with the nation's top colleges will also begin to drop the AP curriculum in order to provide its students with the rigorous education the parents are expecting.

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1) This leads us to another question, that of standards vs graduation requirements.  It seems to me that grad requirements, or different types of diplomas, may be the place to account for individual differences among student abilities and goals, say college prep vs non-college prep (or, say, similar to Regents vs non-Regents in NYS in the old days LOL).

 

 2) We are also left with the examples of more rigorous countries where most of the students graduate with, say, calc (or at least precalc).  Maybe there could be some sort of exemptions available for students with LDs and/or special needs.

 

 

 

1) NYS came up with "Regents with Honors with Advanced Designation" to replace Regents vs Non-Regents. The more things change the more the stay the same.

 

2) Total fallacy - you need to actually look at those other countries. Finland for example eventually tracks the students into the university bound versus not. Their students taking higher math (Pre-calc, calculus) in high school are in similar proportion to the USA. 

 

One of the problems of the USA is low expectations for their children. Early tracking is bad.

 

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I expressed this exact sentiment to my kids and husband last night.  One of the members of the validation committee for the Common Core has stated that the Common Core standards are going to dumb down an already dumbed-downed curriculum by one or two more grades.  I am seeing this played out first-hand already: My local public school has now eliminated the gifted math program in order to be in compliance with Common Core.  Students at my public school will not be able to accelerate in math until their junior year of high school, when last year the ability to accelerate began in 6th grade. 

 

My area has some of the top rated public schools in my state.  I know some of the teachers that teach at these schools.  None is happy with the Common Core.

 

 

This is an "implementation" problem. Common Core was rushed into existence instead of using many years to phase it in so the schools are drained of funds.

 

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1) NYS came up with "Regents with Honors with Advanced Designation" to replace Regents vs Non-Regents. The more things change the more the stay the same.

 

2) Total fallacy - you need to actually look at those other countries. Finland for example eventually tracks the students into the university bound versus not. Their students taking higher math (Pre-calc, calculus) in high school are in similar proportion to the USA. 

 

One of the problems of the USA is low expectations for their children. Early tracking is bad.

 

Early tracking is bad if it essentially gives up on a student who performs poorly at an early age (and don't get me started on how the quality of elementary instruction may play a crucual role there).  But what about tracking that begins to develop areas of strength at an early age, arguably important for the student to reach his or her full potential?  Limits, overall, are bad.  E.g., the CC prohibition on any math acceleration prior to 7th grade is IMO devastating.

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Homeschool snobbery is very relevant given that this whole discussion is being driven by a homeschool mom who has already admitted no respect for public schools.

 

CC is meant to erase not exacerbate the differences. Will that be possible? Undoubtedly not. The fact of the matter is this: ed lingo is meaningless jargon and all words are subject to new definitions at any time. Like "alg2/trig" now being called "pre calc."

 

Selective schools select kids from all different backgrounds.

I don't have homeschool snobbery. It has nothing to do with homeschooling. My POV is strictly around what qualifies as quality education. My distaste for ps education comes from the bureaucratic nature of ps that goes on from the teaching side (not being able to simply teach students the ways that meet their needs, but being micromanaged and dictated how you can teach.)

 

I stayed out of the conversation about what is going on in the classroom and with curriculum bc I am completely unfamiliar with them and don't plan on investigating them. My very real concerns are centered about the long-term implications these policies will have on upper ed.

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Homeschool snobbery is very relevant given that this whole discussion is being driven by a homeschool mom who has already admitted no respect for public schools. 

 

The point I think is the reduction in overall competitiveness of our national talent pool via reduction in education standards - lowest common denominator and such.  Everyone on this board cares about other kids, especially disadvantaged kids who have enough obstacles in front of them without being barred from access to higher courses based on what their poor district fails to offer them.

 

At the moment, homeschools may offer a custom-fit education, future changes in college board tests notwithstanding, so the limits of the CC standards are inapplicable.  However, in a jam are the homeschoolers who may end up at a public high school in the future. 

 

CC is meant to erase not exacerbate the differences.  Will that be possible?  Undoubtedly not.  The fact of the matter is this: ed lingo is meaningless jargon and all words are subject to new definitions at any time.  Like "alg2/trig" now being called  "pre calc."

 

I'm with you on the ed lingo, insidious dumbing-down.  However, I do believe that CC will exacerbate the differences regardless of the purported intent.  The CC has an affect even though it may have been intended as a floor.  E.g., there are already lots of districts getting rid of gifted programming based on the CC's prohibition against math acceleration prior to 7th grade.

 

Selective schools select kids from all different backgrounds.

 

 

Selective STEM and non-STEM programs are even more difficult to get into without higher level courses.  An extreme example as they aren't the only schools out there, but I don't suppose many students are admitted to elite programs like MIT and Caltech without trig and precalc - the odds of that happening are laughable for even an able but disadvantaged student from a poor district.  For practical purposes, even calc is required to be competitive for admission to such schools.  Sure the disadvantaged kid could take the courses at community college or something and apply later, but that's yet another disadvantage in such a two-tier sort of system - seems silly when the high school could offer them.

 

It's one thing to not take higher level courses because they're not within one's interest or ability.  It's quite another to not have access.

 

 

Last night, I read somewhere that some of the goals of the group making the standards were conflicting, and that seems to be the case the more I read about it and the more we all discuss it.

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This is an "implementation" problem. Common Core was rushed into existence instead of using many years to phase it in so the schools are drained of funds.

 

 

The only English Langauage Arts expert and the only Mathmatician on the validation committee, along with two others, refused to sign off on the standards.  In fact, when the English Language Arts expert states that  the the Common Core are inferior standards, non-competitive, not internationally benchmarked, not rigorous and not research based, I would say that the problem runs way beyond an "implementation problem."

 

That being said, however you want to define the problem, the end result is the same:  the children are being short-changed, and the tax payers are being taken for a ride while the testing companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

 

 

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Homeschool snobbery is very relevant given that this whole discussion is being driven by a homeschool mom who has already admitted no respect for public schools. 

 

CC is meant to erase not exacerbate the differences.  Will that be possible?  Undoubtedly not.  The fact of the matter is this: ed lingo is meaningless jargon and all words are subject to new definitions at any time.  Like "alg2/trig" now being called  "pre calc."

 

Selective schools select kids from all different backgrounds.

 

I think all homeschoolers are susceptible to this snobbery at different levels even if not intentional.  In fact it is the distaste for public schools, at least in part, which drove us to homeschool in the first place.  But with this in mind I think we need to work at being sensitive to other friends and families who still public school whether it is their first choice or not.  That bias against anything PS can lead to sweeping generalizations that 'all things' derived from them whether standards or otherwise are basically flawed and lack merit of any kind.  I have a concern about such biases when objectively evaluating standards or curriculum based on such standards.  I think there is a tendency to see the worst in them and 'focusing on that' rather than also seeing some potential good.

 

As wapiti mentioned this is a huge can of worms which seems to have devolved into how 'concerned' most are with the problems of the CC.  Yes, there are many reasons to be concerned, especially with regards to implementation.  I agree with that. But I really don't think this is the purpose of the original thread either, especially in light of Jann's original statement in bold:

Please do not make this a debate about how the Common Core is to be implemented (and the infringement of personal rights/state's rights) or the tracking of students...

 

With the CC being so politically and emotionally charged is it even possible to restrict discussions around what might be changing in terms of the Mathematics curriculum at differing levels including Numbers Theory, Probability and Statistics, Algebraic reasoning, etc..?  I've asked that question regarding which textbooks might be used to provide such instruction beyond AoPS Counting and Probability which does not suit every student's learning style.  But that question got buried in 'concern' threads.  Jann is no longer participating and I am not seeing much value either.  Maybe a new thread should be started called 'Concerns with the CCS's impact upon the US educational system.'  Something very similar occurred in another thread on the logic board entitled 'FYI: Collegeboard middle school math program (California common core ed)' where very little discussion around the original topic took place (e.g. Springboard Math).  If I went to that thread looking to find out more about it I would not.

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Derek is right that the thread has devolved, as often happens.  I suspect that this is the first time that many of us have looked at the actual standards and the corresponding pitfalls associated with them.  Perhaps a new thread is needed.

 

My concern is with my current 8th grade and 9th grade students in Algebra 1.  The changes in the college entrance tests WILL affect them... how do I (we) prepare these students when the curriculum has not been developed yet and the standards do not provide a clear list of necessary concepts (just a general scope)?

 

Homeschoolers (and schools in the states that have not signed on to the Common Core) are not ‘bound’ to teach to the Common Core-- however the inevitable is happening as within a few years the standard college entrance tests (PSAT/SAT and ACT) will be based on the Common Core.  The depth of change in the tests is yet to be seen-- but homeschoolers WILL be affected.

 

(Warning, this is what happens when I think out loud about a topic I may know nothing about  :tongue_smilie: so please take this as a sort of big-picture perspective.)  I imagine that what I'd do would depend on the individual student's situation, including when they might attend PS and how the PS organized math.  For test prep itself, it seems impossible to predict what will happen before more information is released.  I suppose that the way forward might include identifying the specific topics that are added and planning to provide at least a brief, shallow instruction on those topics.  In the interests of time, I might be wary of assigning unwarranted depth to a topic that would be an extra under old standards, as real depth is more difficult to test for in a standardized format. 

 

I would start by focusing on the standards as written for the traditional path, alg 1/geometry/alg 2.  IIRC, they are laid out in the appendix.  Integrated is not the only path set forth in the CC, and if one's goal is to meet the standards closely (for whatever reason), personally, I'd find the traditional path more straightforward, organizationally, in trying to interpret the standards and in trying to patch together resources to meet the extra standards.  For a student already in the middle of a traditional alg 1 course, I'd probably stay away from the integrated approach.

 

From what I gathered from other sources about geometry, the geometry standards are lacking some of what has previously been included in a standard course.  I also saw some talk of "rigid transformations" or some such previously unknown topic, for which there may not be a lot of resources yet.

 

It is worth noting not just what topics have been added but what topics have been removed.  E.g., of the topics in Math 8 that were previously traditional algebra topics, slope-intercept form is mentioned several times.  However, I didn't see standard form or point-slope form mentioned either in Math 8 or in the high school standards.  (Could be that I just missed it - that was several days ago and I wasn't exactly keeping track.)  I don't know what to do with that observation as I would still want to teach them.

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The only English Langauage Arts expert and the only Mathmatician on the validation committee, along with two others, refused to sign off on the standards.  In fact, when the English Language Arts expert states that  the the Common Core are inferior standards, non-competitive, not internationally benchmarked, not rigorous and not research based, I would say that the problem runs way beyond an "implementation problem."

 

That being said, however you want to define the problem, the end result is the same:  the children are being short-changed, and the tax payers are being taken for a ride while the testing companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

 

It is an implementation problem if districts are doing away with accelerated math programs. Our district has added more, not less, since implementing CC. My 8th grader is in Algebra 1 Honors this year. My 6th grader is in Honors Math 6 and is on their track to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. Not all districts are doing away with accelerated classes.

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It is an implementation problem if districts are doing away with accelerated math programs. Our district has added more, not less, since implementing CC. My 8th grader is in Algebra 1 Honors this year. My 6th grader is in Honors Math 6 and is on their track to take Algebra 1 in 7th grade. Not all districts are doing away with accelerated classes.

 

FWIW, the CC appendix on high school math standards includes the following provision, which unfortunately has been cited explicitly by some districts (page 81, #2):

 

 Placing students into tracks too early should be avoided at all costs. It is not recommended to compact the standards before grade seven.

 

In accordance with that guidance, the recommended accelerated paths do not start until 7th and the standards include no recommended path that involves algebra 1 or the integrated Mathematics 1 prior to 8th grade.  Moreover, someplace else I read that the k-6 standards make acceleration during k-6 extremely difficult (logistically).  The CC has no accelerated option for 6th.

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I expressed this exact sentiment to my kids and husband last night.  One of the members of the validation committee for the Common Core has stated that the Common Core standards are going to dumb down an already dumbed-downed curriculum by one or two more grades.  I am seeing this played out first-hand already: My local public school has now eliminated the gifted math program in order to be in compliance with Common Core.  Students at my public school will not be able to accelerate in math until their junior year of high school, when last year the ability to accelerate began in 6th grade. 

 

My area has some of the top rated public schools in my state.  I know some of the teachers that teach at these schools.  None is happy with the Common Core.

 

Families that can afford it will be forced to send their children to private schools because the public schools will no longer be able to provide an appropriate education.  The children from less affluent families will have no choice but to attend the dumbed-down public schools and the gap between the haves and have nots will continue to widen.

Sounds like everyone is moving to the CA model. There is acceleration in my district starting in 7th but no honors classes until 11th grade so the bright kids are just put into the regular mixed-ability class with average students a grade older and the struggling kids 2+ grades older. No gifted & talented program. Everyone who cares about their kids' education and can afford it puts their kids into private schools or homeschools.

 

This isn't required by CC- this is a direct result of educrats who are against tracking using CC as political cover for an agenda they know will be unpopular.

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Selective schools select kids from all different backgrounds.

GA Tech announced their EA stats earlier today. (Bolded emphasis mine.)

 

EA admit rate: 40% (Avg. SAT= 1485/2193 w/ 9+ AP/IB/College courses by graduation). Defer 24%, Deny 32%. (5% closed/ incomplete) ‪#‎gojackets

 

This is precisely the type of scenario to which I am referring and which has zero to do with homeschooling. (GA Tech has not been known to be overly homeschool friendly in the past bc they want evidence of academic success.) Bright kids in districts which eliminate acceleration or upper level coursework are going to be at a serious disadvantage. Selective universities with these type of admission standards might accept a few students w/o those levels of achievements, but there will not be enough of those "few slots" for large numbers of students who simply don't have the access to advanced classes (unless the schools themselves completely alter their admissions profile.)

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Selective universities with these type of admission standards might accept a few students w/o those levels of achievements, but there will not be enough of those "few slots" for large numbers of students who simply don't have the access to advanced classes (unless the schools themselves completely alter their admissions profile.)

Unless there is political pressure on the selective universities to change their admissions policies. The reason I was given for my district not having honors classes before 11th is because the UC admissions only gives extra weight for honors classes taken in 11th & 12th.

 

Now to me that's a B.S. excuse because even if UC doesn't give extra weight to pre-11th honors courses, the PS could still offer the courses if they felt like it. The private high schools in the area that I've looked at all offer a full 4 years' worth of honors courses. But the point is, educrats hostile to tracking have influenced the UC Regents to limit the impact of honors courses on admissions to the UC schools.

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Unless there is political pressure on the selective universities to change their admissions policies. The reason I was given for my district not having honors classes before 11th is because the UC admissions only gives extra weight for honors classes taken in 11th & 12th.

 

Now to me that's a B.S. excuse because even if UC doesn't give extra weight to pre-11th honors courses, the PS could still offer the courses if they felt like it. The private high schools in the area that I've looked at all offer a full 4 years' worth of honors courses. But the point is, educrats hostile to tracking have influenced the UC Regents to limit the impact of honors courses on admissions to the UC schools.

 

UC does give weight to honors classes taken in 10th grade if it is labeled an AP class or it is a class primarily taken by 11th or 12th graders but the school has allowed some 9th or 10th grade advanced students to take. The limit for credit for extra weight classes for the UC's is 8 semester classes. A student can take more Honor's/AP classes than 8 semesters but won't get extra weight for their GPA for the additional classes. So it sounds like your district conveniently forgot to tell you the whole answer.  I completely agree with you that it would make sense to offer Honors in 9th and 10th grades to prepare for the Honors classes in 11th and 12th.

 

http://www.ucop.edu/agguide/a-g-requirements/honors/

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