Van Zandt admits he has high expectations for his children. He also has high expectations for San Francisco Unified, which is why he and many parents like him were outraged when they learned Algebra 1 will no longer be taught in middle school under Common Core, the state’s new academic standards.
Instead, all students will have to wait until their freshman year in high school to take the class.
Valentina says delaying Algebra 1 is going to hurt gifted students because some classes are “too easy” or “aren’t very challenging” for high-achieving students.
The shift to now require Algebra 1 in high school may seem like a subtle change, but it hits on a deep-rooted debate over when advanced math should be introduced, and to which students.
Some say Algebra 1 at a young age causes students to flounder.