Algebra Task Force

Initiative Purpose:

The Virginia Department of Education has set a goal of having 45% of middle school students completing Algebra I by the end of eighth grade.  The Task Force was formed to examine our current mathematics program to determine if we are prepared to meet this goal. 

Initiative Description:

The task force is made up of teachers, principals, specialists and directors from all levels.  They examined national research on the importance of algebra in ensuring student success in higher levels of mathematics.  The group is now broken into several task forces:

  1. Curriculum:  This committee is working to review our current curriculum and how we teach mathematics at the elementary through middle grades.
  2. Student Impact: This committee is examining all the factors around student life in a school that can support enrollment in higher-level mathematics.  This may include programs and opportunities available for students to get enrichment, as well as how students receive information about math courses and how they are provided access to these courses.
  3. Staffing:  This committee is investigating how we can ensure highly qualified algebra teachers are placed in each middle and high school.
  4. Professional Development: This committee is working with the ideas and initiatives from the other three committees so that training can be designed to help meet the goal.

The task force will make recommendations to the school board concerning how we should proceed to meet the goal.  Middle schools have begun looking at their Algebra I enrollment to determine their current state in relation to the goal.  They have also begun instituting summer “Algebra Jump” programs to give students more math experience and encourage them to take Algebra I in middle school.

Elementary schools can begin looking at how students progress through mathematics in their schools, particularly in terms of expectations for performance in higher-level mathematics at the middle school level.

The algebra task force report, when complete, will be posted on this website for review.

Timeline for the Initiative:

  • Fall 2007- Task force report completed and posted
  • December 2007- Detailed action plans to meet the goal will be posted

Algebra Task Force Action Plan- June 2008            Modeling Middle School Mathematics

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