Starting next school year, Georgia high schools will have the option to ditch “integrated math” and go back to the traditional Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II sequence that teachers there have said they prefer.
Schools Superintendent Richard Woods made the announcement last week that schools will no longer be required to teach integrated courses, which the state has mandated since 2008. While U.S. high schools have traditionally taught algebra and geometry as discrete subjects, the integrated math pathway used in Georgia and a few other states puts a mix of algebra, geometry, and statistics skills in courses titled Mathematics I, II, and III.
The Common Core State Standards document offers suggestions for how the standards can be organized into either traditional or integrated courses.
In a press release, Woods said, “I have heard many times from students, teachers, and parents, that the lack of a traditional/discrete math option is an enormously troubling issue.”
A survey of Georgia high school teachers, which I wrote about here this fall, found that nearly 85 percent of respondents said they would rather use the traditional Algebra I-Geometry-Algebra II pathway than the integrated model. Sandi Woodall, the mathematics program manager for the state, told me in October that teachers “would prefer being an algebra teacher or a geometry teacher. They don’t want even the perception that they’re expected to teach both.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.