In the latest twist in the great California algebra debate, the feds have said that because the state is not complying with a testing mandate, they plan to take $1 million from the California Department of Education and redirect it to needy schools.
The move is the result of delays associated with California’s attempt to test all 8th graders in introductory algebra, a controversial policy that is now stalled in court.
California’s state board of education voted in July to require that all 8th graders be tested in Algebra 1 within three years, which state officials say has the effect of mandating that all students take that subject in that grade. Compared to other states’ math requirements, it’s a high standard. The state approved that plan after the feds said that California could not continue a policy that allowed 8th graders who had not be taught algebra to be tested in 6th and 7th grade math. The algebra mandate was backed by the business community but drew opposition from school administrators and others who said it was unrealistic. A Sacramento County Superior Court Judge has ordered that the mandate be postponed for the time being.
California will not lose out on the $1 million in funding, according to the story in the Associated Press. That money will instead be directed to needy schools, without direction from the state, the report says.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.