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College Bound in Middle School & High School? How Math Course Sequences Matter

Abstract

"College Bound in Middle School & High School? How Math Course Sequences Matter finds that there is no clear path to mathematics learning in California. Based upon an examination of the course-taking patterns and performance in mathematics for 24,000 California students, spanning 7th grade through high school, researchers found that:

  • Math performance in 7th grade is predictive of high-school math course-taking;
  • While the majority of students who achieved at least Proficient on their math CSTs are those who took algebra 1 in grade 8, geometry in grade 9, and algebra 2 in grade 10, in general this accelerated pathway does not support students who are not proficient in math in grade 7; and
  • Many students repeat algebra, but few repeaters achieve proficiency on their second attempt.
The report also presents findings from in-depth conversations with a subsample of participating districts on the specific findings from within their district and how district leaders might use the information for future planning efforts. College Bound in Middle School & High School? concludes with a set of considerations for policymakers and education leaders at the state and local levels."

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