Math instruction in Eagle County Schools moving back to the future
School district to move from integrated math, back to Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II
- Year 1: Algebra will replace Integrated Math I in high schools and middle schools. Integrated Math I and II will remain in place.
- Year 2: Algebra II and Geometry will supplant Integrated Math II. Integrated Math III will remain in place.
- Year 3: Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II will supplant Integrated Math II.
EAGLE — Someday soon you might just be able to help your kids with their math homework.
That assumes you paid attention in math class in the first place.
Beginning next school year, Eagle County Schools will return to a traditional approach to math instruction in upper-middle school and high school. The district will move away from integrated math and back to Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2. You know, the way Steve Jobs and Bill Gates learned math.
Traditionalists argue that it enables students and teachers to delve more deeply into subject areas, enables students to move more quickly, and because Eagle County teachers and parents asked for it.
Why the district is doing this
For the last decade, Eagle County students learned integrated math in upper-middle school and high school. It’s supposed to combine mathematical disciplines so students are exposed to them every year, according to the school district. It was also supposed to improve the district’s math scores on standardized tests.
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However, school districts across the nation, including Eagle County Schools, did not see those results. Integrated math also forced students to work through one level at a time. If they struggled at a level, they were stuck there.
For much of that decade, local math teachers and parents have been asking to return to the traditional track.
“Parents have been vocal against integrated math,” the school district said in a statement. “They say that they are unable to help their child as much with math homework because it is so different from how they learned. Returning to a more traditional approach will help address this issue.”
The school district created a math committee and hired a math consultant to audit the district’s math curriculum and instruction. Some of the district’s focus shifted to math remediation.
The school district’s math committee decided that upper-middle and high school students needed a new curriculum … or an old curriculum … and recommended returning to the traditional math track.
The transition from one method to the next will take place over the next three years.
Students will start with Algebra 1, Geometry, and then take Algebra II. Under the traditional track, they can take Algebra II and Geometry at the same time, and move more quickly into dual enrollment and advanced placement classes that include college credit.
“Students who have started in integrated math will continue and finish with integrated math,” said Dr. Katie Jarnot, the assistant superintendent of instruction and curriculum. “Incoming eighth- and ninth-grade students who have not had integrated math will start next year with Algebra, and we will add Geometry and Algebra II as they matriculate each school year.”