The Jackson County School System will stick with an integrated math curriculum that has many students in the state struggling to master.
“We think it’s not smart — budget wise — for (school) systems that think about this — and with our budget crisis we certainly don’t want to have to create more courses for students, which means having more teachers,” said Kathy Miller, director of curriculum and accountability for the Jackson County School System.
However, the district will review how a new state curriculum — the Common Core State Standards — will affect math resources for students and school systems, she added. The new standards will begin with the 2012-2013 school year.
The 2008-revamped math curriculum has courses labeled as Math I, Math II, Math II and Math IV, which include elements of algebra, geometry, statistics and trigonometry.
Statewide, 42.6 percent of high school students failed the Math I End of Course Test in December 2010 — compared to 35.6 percent in spring 2010. For the Math II End of Course Test, 35.1 percent of students statewide failed the test in December, while 47.7 percent failed in spring 2010.
Last week, the state board of education agreed with Barge’s proposal to give school systems the choice to offer either an integrated math curriculum or a traditional curriculum with four new courses — GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry, GPS Advanced Algebra and GPS Pre-Calculus.
Under the new rule, high school students can now earn core credit for math support classes. Students must receive four units of math in order to graduate.
For the full story, see the March 23 issue of The Jackson Herald.