Monday, April 26, 2010

Four Year Math + Financial Algebra @ NCTM

Several states have four year math requirements.  While California only requires two, the first three years of math applies to the API and the fourth year is needed for smooth transfer to college.  In short, four years of math are needed by students from a school viewpoint.

In four-year states, a subtle issue is whether or not passing is required in the fourth year!  Also, standards-based math courses are expected. Jokes about arithmetic/formula-based Business Math for students having completed Geometry/Algebra 2 are frequently made.  As an alternative, a soon-to-be a-g approved Financial Algebra course (Textbook is available for review) has Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 problems.  It would work well as a junior course in support of Summative Math.

While many pathways exist, sensible high school pathways would breakdown into the following (yes, my understanding of Business Math is appropriately different than Harbor/Mesa):
  • Algebra ABCD - Done or advise student to take Geometry, then Algebra
  • Algebra CD or Algebra 1/Business Math - Done
  • Algebra CD or Algebra 1/Geometry => Algebra 2, then PreCalc/Stats(AP)/Financial Algebra
  • Geometry/Algebra 2 => PreCalc/AP Calc or Financial Algebra/Statistics(AP)

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