April 29 Podcast – 8th Grade Math Placement and Achievement: Implications for District & 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 from EdSource presented 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 from the California Collaborative on District Reform (CCDR) and the American Institutes for Research (AIR) shared lessons and perspectives from CCDR 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 session also featured Deputy State Superintendent Deb Sigman from the California Department of Education who explored implications for the state in light of the recent adoption of the Common Core State Standards. The panel was introduced by David N. Plank, Executive Director of PACE.

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To view a copy of slides from this presentation, click here.
To view a copy of slides used by Deborah V.H. Sigman, click here.
To view a copy of slides used by Catherine Bitter and Jennifer O’Day, click here.

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