**master critical math concepts by 9th grade**

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**master critical math concepts by 9th grade**

Competency in mathematics is critical to functioning in everyday life and having access to college and employment. (Child Trends, 2012, Math Proficiency). Successfully completing Algebra is a high school graduation requirement for all California students. Algebra is foundational for college preparatory math and science courses in high school. However, assessing students’ progress towards gaining math skills across Marin County is complex. Reasons for this complexity include the differences in timing in student enrollment in general mathematics and algebra I, and disagreement among educators regarding the optimal timing of these courses.

- Students have not mastered the critical math skills necessary for math and science going forward. This means that they may not place into advanced courses or, if they do, they may not be able to succeed in them. Because of this they are at a disadvantage for achieving the requirements needed for college.

- Students enter 9th grade with the critical math skills needed for future learning in science and math - including in core courses they will need for enrolling in college.

Since 2010, a number of states across the nation, including California, have adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics. The Common Core standards are not curriculum - curriculum is what teachers actually follow, or do, in the classroom, and what students do at home - Standards simply articulate what we want students to learn.

The slogan of Common Core Math is "fewer, higher, deeper" — a smaller number of more rigorous standards with a focus on both understanding and application. In math, the standards are designed to be coherent and connected in a consistent sequence, with concepts that build on each other from grade to grade.

The data below is for the California Assessment of Student Progress and Performance after completion of 8th grade. Though Common Core Algebra 1 is now a course which is taken after the Common Core Math 8, the test does include algebra content. According to William G. McCallum, a mathematics education professor at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and one of the lead writers of the common standards "there's big confusion between the Algebra 1 course with a capital A and algebra, the mathematical subject. If you follow common core, there's now tons of algebra content in the 8th grade."

This number reflects the work to be done as a community. But it doesn't tell the whole story.

Before we can tackle the problem, we must first learn about the factors driving it.

To do this we unpack the data in order to understand how best to respond to it.

The data tells us that the educational eco-system does indeed work for some students:

Approximately **90% of White & Asian students** and almost **70% of Non-Economically Disadvantaged* students** have the math skills needed for advanced math & science courses

But at the same time there are communities for whom the system is not fulfilling Marin's promise:

Less than** ****50% of Black/African American students** and fewer than **60% of Hispanic/Latino students** have the necessary math skills while just **20% of Economically Disadvantaged* students** and only** ****5% of English Language Learners** had the math skills needed by 9th grade.

*Non-Economically Disadvantaged - students not qualifying for free or reduced lunch

Economically Disadvantaged - students qualifying for free or reduced lunch

Algebra Academy - Novato