« Wyoming Takes First Step Toward Ending Ban on Common Science Standards | Main | Textbook Authority Shifting Slowly From States to Districts »

Nashville Replaces Algebra and Geometry With Integrated Math

Next year, Nashville public schools will begin the transition from teaching Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II to teaching integrated math courses, which weave together concepts from each discipline. 

The 82,000-student district announced the switch last week and is planning on holding parent meetings to clarify the move. The district's website says that "with integrated math, students are held to the same standards and expected to master the same mathematical concepts but in a different order."

As explained in our recent special report, integrated math is not exactly a novel concept—but it's gotten renewed attention under the Common Core State Standards. The standards lay out both the traditional and integrated approaches for teaching high school mathematics and suggest schools choose one.

Here's what the two models look like (via the standards' Appendix A):

Integrated vs traditional math pathway.JPG

In a recent EdWeek online chat on the topic, Paul Stevenson, math chair at an Illinois high school, explained that prior to high school, all math courses are integrated. The Nashville district website makes the point as well: "First graders don't go to Addition class and Subtraction class," it states. "They go to math class. Integrated math gives students a consistent teaching and learning style from kindergarten to graduation."

At least three states—North Carolina, West Virginia, and Utahhave recently mandated that all public high schools use integrated math

Georgia has technically been using integrated math since 2008—but it hasn't been popular. Nearly 85 percent of Georgia teachers participating in a recent survey administered by the state's board of education said they would rather be teaching the traditional pathway than the integrated one.

And there's a chance some Georgia teachers may soon get their way. The state's new schools superintendent, Richard Woods, has said he'd like districts to choose which approach to high school mathematics they take. The Chattanooga Times Free Press, which covers parts of Georgia, reports the state board will vote on that change in February.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments