Algebra readiness

person holding a book and pen

Talented Students Are Kept From Early Algebra. Should States Force Schools to Enroll Them?

By Daniel Mollenkamp     May 28, 2024

One California family had a tough choice to make.

Julie Lynem’s son had taken algebra in eighth grade, but hadn’t comprehended some of the core concepts. That left the family to decide whether to make him repeat the class in ninth grade — and potentially disadvantage him by preventing him from taking calculus later in high school — or to have him push through.

“After a family discussion, we decided he would repeat Algebra 1 in ninth grade,” Lynem, a journalism lecturer, wrote in CalMatters. They hoped it would increase his confidence and mastery, she wrote. When he later won an achievement award in math, Lynem determined that the decision had been a good one.

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