San Francisco releases 3 options for middle school algebra
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has unveiled three possible frameworks for incorporating algebra back into middle school education.
Driving the news: Amid raging debates around academic rigor and equity in math performance, SFUSD officials are soliciting feedback before they finalize a proposal for the school board.
Details: The first of the three options would allow students to choose between the current eighth-grade math class as is and a curriculum that also covers Algebra 1, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
- The second would add Algebra 1 as an elective during or before the school day.
- The third would make Algebra 1 a summer intensive course, which rising ninth graders would be able to opt into.
Of note: The latter two options would require SFUSD to hire more teachers, which could cost up to $200,000 if the district moves forward with offering summer math sections, the Chronicle notes.
The big picture: Public schools in the city taught algebra in the eighth grade until the school board voted in 2014 to have students wait until high school to learn Algebra 1.
- The move was designed to address systemic inequities that prevent Black and Latino students from accessing higher-level courses at the same rate as their peers.
- These barriers can have long-term impacts on higher education and career pursuits.
- Some local advocacy groups have also countered that denying middle school students the opportunity to learn algebra ultimately hurts disadvantaged kids and drives families out of public schools.
What's next: The school board will hear the proposed policy change on Feb. 13.
- Under superintendent Matt Wayne, the district is also reworking its approach to foundational skills as it considers ways to bolster students' engagement with math curricula.
More San Francisco stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios San Francisco.