But what will happen to math achievers who do want to take calculus and pursue STEM majors in college? Will they get what they need in untracked classes?
Black students are more likely to wait until 11th or 12th grade to take Algebra 1, according to the U.S. Education Department, he reports in an earlier story. Native Americans have similar patterns.
“Research indicates that forcing students to take Algebra I before they’re ready can be harmful,” writes Sawchuk. “Is it because they’ve correctly assessed students’ ability and put them in the appropriate course?” said Joshua Goodman, an associate professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. “Or is it because there’s some amount of discrimination going on?”
Related: Math Forum Audio/Video.