As part of a national movement to standardize math instruction, North Carolina is putting into effect a new curriculum for the 2012-13 school year that’s supposed to be more rigorous. The result is that most Triangle school districts, including Wake County, will no longer allow high-level elementary school students to take middle-school math.
Hung-Hsi Wu -- The Common Core State Standards in mathematics (CCSSM) are the first step in an ambitious undertaking to create a system where all students meet the same, challenging expectations. But their adoption by states have left some, most recently in North Carolina, wondering how accelerated students will be affected.
Mary Baldwin, Cal State University-Los Angeles and the University of Washington are the only colleges in the U.S. that have early college programs for students as young as 11 years old. But there are plenty of Doogie Howser-type young students who attend elite universities without a structured program.
Jay Mathews -- In my experience, students are far more ready to adjust to age differences in their classes than we give them credit for. A 2004 study by the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa found that “an overwhelming majority” of students who had been accelerated endorsed the move when surveyed years later. They said they had been both academically challenged and socially accepted.
Jay Mathews writes on acceleration -- "It is something to think about. I am still bothered by the notion that intelligent readers would think resisting a child’s desire to take the next step was a good thing. Am I wrong?"
Jay Mathews -- "Anyone who wants to appreciate how strong a grip high school has on the American imagination, and how clueless some school districts are about this, should consider the story of Drew Gamblin, a 16-year-old student at Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland."
Public schools nationwide are working to increase the number of students who study Algebra I, the traditional first-year high school math course, in eighth grade. Many Washington area schools have gone further, pushing large numbers of students two or three years ahead of the grade-level curriculum.