Middle Georgia high schools will soon be able to offer students new options in math courses.
The state Board of Education approved the curriculum revision Feb. 19, which includes the creation of a new course called Foundations of Algebra, to meet the needs of freshmen students who are struggling in math.
Essentially, school districts can bring back the former method of math instruction, separating algebra and geometry concepts. The changes start for the 2015-2016 school year.
“These added math options give schools another way to personalize instruction for students,” state school Superintendent Richard Woods said in an email.
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An “integrated” method approved years ago triggered controversy because it confused some students. It combined algebra, geometry and data probability in one course.
“Most parents learned math in a more traditional/discrete manner,” Woods said. “Having (the new) option will remove another barrier which was hindering parents’ ability to help their students in math. That’s been a problem with the integrated math.”
Regional Educational Services Agencies and the state discovered through surveys that “many educators desired a choice between integrated and traditional/discrete math,” according to a statement. Public comments on the changes were “largely favorable,” it noted. “This is good news for Georgia’s educators, parents and students,” state board Chairwoman Helen Rice said in the statement. “These courses are a response to feedback from all of those groups. They are specific to the needs and responsive to the voices of Georgia’s students.”
To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.