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Many West Virginia Districts Returning to Traditional Math Courses

At least 1 in 5 West Virginia districts will go back to teaching the traditional algebra-geometry course sequence rather than integrated math courses, which the state initially required under the Common Core State Standards.

The common standards suggest two possible pathways for math learning in high school—traditional and integratedAlgebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 make up the traditional pathway, while Mathematics I, II, and III, which weave together algebra, geometry, and statistics topics each year, make up the integrated sequence. 

K-12_Dealmaking.gifWest Virginia was one of a few states to mandate that schools teach integrated math courses after it adopted the common core. In February, the state board decided to allow districts and individual schools the option of going back to the traditional sequence—though all districts would continue teaching the common standards. 

So far, 11 West Virginia districts have decided to return to the traditional pathway, reports the Charleston Gazette. Districts have until the end of the month to declare whether they intend to switch. 

One issue with going back to the traditional course sequence, the paper reports, is "transferring students from Math I, which contains both algebra and geometry topics, to Geometry, a course that requires more previous understanding of algebra than Math I provides." Districts that revert will need to make up the algebra topics. 

Georgia also recently abandoned a mandate to teach integrated math. Prior to that move, a survey of Georgia high school teachers found that nearly 85 percent of respondents said they would rather use the traditional Algebra I-Geometry-Algebra II pathway than the integrated model.

North Carolina and Utah require districts to use integrated math in high school. And the Nashville school district recently put such a mandate in place as well. 

For more news and information on reading, math, and STEM instruction, follow @LianaHeitin on Twitter. And sign up here to get alerts in your email inbox when stories are published on Curriculum Matters.

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