The New York state board of regents adopted major changes last week in how mathematics will be taught to high school students.
Beginning in the fall of 2006, the state’s high school curriculum will call for three one-year courses: Algebra 1 for freshmen; geometry for sophomores; and Algebra II/ trigonometry for juniors. Under the plan, schools are encouraged to teach precalculus to seniors, but may opt for another form of math.
“All the math courses will use a problem-solving approach that goes beyond rote learning to ensure students have a deeper understanding of the concepts and workings of mathematics,” a press release from the state education agency said.
The plan followed the recommendations made this month by the board-appointed Math Standards Committee, which found that the course titles and material in current state-prescribed high school math content, which were designed to prepare students for state exams, differ from district to district.