If California’s new algebra-teaching mandate is eventually implemented, the state will have a hard time preparing every 8th grader to pass that course, according to a report on the state’s teacher workforce.
Of the state’s current supply of 3,790 middle school algebra teachers, roughly a third are underprepared or teaching out of their fields, says the update, which is released annually by the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.
“The system is currently not able to provide every algebra student with a fully credentialed mathematics teacher,” says the report, which also shows that while 70 percent of the highest-achieving middle schools are fully prepared, only 54 percent of the teachers in the lowest-achieving schools are fully credentialed.
The algebra mandate is being challenged in court, but the report recommends that state lawmakers review why shortages in certain subjects continue and develop a strategic plan to make sure all students have a “fully prepared and effective teacher.”
A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2009 edition of Education Week