To force math teachers to change their teaching to fit the Common Core, Darren’s school district is switching to “integrated math,” he writes on Right on the Left Coast.
The new books mix algebra and geometry, but don’t integrate the concepts, he complains. It’s just a “hodge-podge.”
Instead of Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Algebra, his high school will offer Integrated Math 1, Integrated 2 and Integrated 3, then the option of Pre-calculus, Stats and Calculus.
While Common Core opposes acceleration in middle school, his district will allow the best students to take Integrated 1 in eighth grade.
So if we want kids to be able to take AP Calculus AB and/or BC in high school, we need to accelerate them in high school. . . . so in addition to Integrated 2 and 3 we’ll now have Integrated 2+ and Integrated 3+. And if a student isn’t quite ready for Integrated 3 we’ll offer Transition to Integrated 3. Of course that means we’ll also have to offer Transition to Integrated 1 (which would in effect be an 8th grade math course, or the pre-algebra course we haven’t been allowed to have in years) and a Transition to Integrated 2 course.
Integrated math has been around for a long time. I remember when San Jose Unified tried it. And then abandoned it. Common Core standards don’t require integrated math, but some think it’s a better fit than the traditional math sequence.