My name is Jo Boaler. I am a mathematics education professor at Stanford University. I was one of five authors of California’s proposed new mathematics framework. Unfortunately, the debate about the best way to teach math correctly has become very contentious, and I continue to be the target of misinformation and even personal attacks.

One of the circulated myths about me concerns allowing students to accelerate through math classes by taking more advanced classes. In fact, I am not at all opposed to student advancement, as long as the system for allowing that advancement does not systematically push Black and brown students out of higher-level mathematics. Unfortunately, our current system operates in this way. The National Center for Education Statistics shares a graph showing the extreme racial differences in the students who take calculus in high school.

A second myth is that I oppose the teaching of algebra, calculus or math facts, when, in fact, our youcubed website shares research-informed ways to teach all three of these topics.

The misinformation comes from some of the people opposed to the ideas in California’s draft framework. Yet, the two most contested ideas are both being pursued by states across the country.

The first concerns the sequence of math courses students take through high school. In California and nationwide, this is based on a framework established 131 years ago by the National Education Association’s working group of upper-class, white, male educators, composed mostly of representatives from higher education. Since then, high schools have focused on one pathway that culminates in students taking calculus in 12th grade. But there’s one glaring problem: the calculus pathway includes five courses, and there are only four years of high school.

This has led schools to compress middle school mathematics courses so some students have the opportunity to learn algebra in middle school. Schools create a high-level pathway that leads to calculus and a low-level pathway that often leads to a sort of “mathematical nowhere.” Typically, middle schools use data from elementary school to decide on these pathways, meaning that a test students take when they are 10 or younger often determines whether they will be able to take calculus in their final year of high school.

This sorting of young students, pushing most of them away from high-level pathways, has led to indefensible racial and social inequities, with only 16% of students in the U.S. taking calculus in high school.

The effects of this faulty system are clear across the country, but California is particularly in need of change. Currently, California ranks near the bottom nationally in the proportion of students graduating from college with degrees in science, technology engineering and mathematics. To make up for this shortfall, California’s leading tech companies had to bring in more than 10,000 people from overseas to fill jobs last year alone.

Some claim that to address this flawed system, California’s proposed math framework requires “widescale detracking.” This is absolutely not the case. In fact, the current draft framework recommends several approaches to address the inequities in our system that do not eliminate tracking, including:

- Restructuring some of the content in the high school years so there are
*not*more courses in front of calculus than years of high school. - Delaying tracking decisions to seventh grade so that students at least have some time in middle school to develop mathematical interests.
- Giving students and their families choices about the pathways students take.

The second contested idea is to allow students to study data science in high school, following the changed recommendations of the University of California and California State University. This means students have more choices in their high school years, and some will opt to take data science instead of Algebra 2. Students choosing data science may take statistics as a culminating course, an option that is already encouraging a broader group of students to pursue advanced mathematics courses.

Opponents say that all students should take Algebra 2, as some students might skip Algebra 2 only to find that they need it for a STEM degree later. Unfortunately, requiring that all students take Algebra 2 has led to far too many students never taking another math course in high school. A productive long-term project for California would be to create courses that combine algebra and data science, an approach being pursued in the state of Washington.

California’s proposed framework recommends flexibility in the creation of new high school courses that teach important mathematics content. Mathematics is a broad subject, and there is no reason to provide only one high-level pathway for our students.

The five co-authors of the framework developed proposals based on recommendations from 20 mathematics leaders appointed by the state, who met for a year, and whose discussions were informed by focus groups of California teachers. County offices across California, a range of California organizations, teachers and STEM professors have supported the framework’s recommendations.

Making change in mathematics education is hard. Even ideas that should not be contentious, such as the neuroscientific evidence that our brains are constantly developing and changing; that challenge is good for our brains; and that mathematics learning benefits from visual and physical representations of mathematics, are seemingly difficult to accept.

And as to my own beliefs. I believe in the worth of all students. I do not think we should limit students’ mathematical futures in elementary school, nor do I think we should accept racial and gender inequities. Hopefully, these are not controversial ideas.

In order to move beyond contention and misinformation we need to open communication between the groups who have different opinions on the framework, for the sake of all California’s students. I am confident that respectful communication would lead to dialogue, learning on both sides and even agreement. Critiques are essential and welcomed when their intention is to improve equitable opportunities and outcomes for young people. As the leaders of the Math Association for America have urged, educators in higher education and K-12 need to work together so our schools can provide all students, in their rich diversity, an opportunity to learn and excel in math.

Read more articles about mathematics.

•••

*Jo Boaler** is the Nomellini and Olivier Professor in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and one of the authors of the revision of California’s mathematics framework.*

The opinions expressed in this commentary represent those of the author. EdSource welcomes commentaries representing diverse points of view. If you would like to submit a commentary, please review our guidelines and contact us.

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Cathy Kessel1 month ago1 month agoGail [Burrill] observed that terms such as “Algebra 2” can be a red herring in policy discussions, because the term ends up with more attention than the concepts that may be within it. In other words, over-reliance on terms such as ’“Algebra 2” hides the hard and necessary work of drilling down into concepts, skills, and practices that students most need to learn, and how to set up students to learn them. By discussing broad … Read More

Gail [Burrill] observed that terms such as “Algebra 2” can be a red herring in policy discussions, because the term ends up with more attention than the concepts that may be within it. In other words, over-reliance on terms such as ’“Algebra 2” hides the hard and necessary work of drilling down into concepts, skills, and practices that students most need to learn, and how to set up students to learn them. By discussing broad courses by name rather than by specific content, we avoid the very challenging work of elaborating and motivating content, and thus rob ourselves of the very mechanism that would bring consensus.

Quotation from “Listening for Common Ground in High School and Early Collegiate Mathematics,” Notices of the American Mathematical Society, https://www.ams.org/journals/notices/202305/noti2689/noti2689.html?adat=May%202023&trk=2689&galt=none&cat=education&pdfissue=202305&pdffile=rnoti-p798.pdf

Ginny Merrifield2 months ago2 months agoIt’s extraordinary that Jo Boaler ignores the fact that the system systematically pushes Black and brown students out of higher-level mathematics beginning in KINDERGARTEN! If we want more students to succeed in math and science and we want greater equity in advanced math and sciences classes then it’s imperative that elementary education make math and science a priority, especially in underserved community public schools. Measure growth and focus on fundamental math skills early. Then the … Read More

It’s extraordinary that Jo Boaler ignores the fact that the system systematically pushes Black and brown students out of higher-level mathematics beginning in KINDERGARTEN! If we want more students to succeed in math and science and we want greater equity in advanced math and sciences classes then it’s imperative that elementary education make math and science a priority, especially in underserved community public schools. Measure growth and focus on fundamental math skills early. Then the problems she’s trying to solve by flattening the math pathways in high school won’t be necessary. This seems too obvious to be ignored by someone who is ostensibly a professor math educator. You can’t solve the equity issues of access to higher level classes if you start 7 late in student’s journey.

Ling Huang2 months ago2 months agoJo Boaler, in your recent post https://joboaler.people.stanford.edu/, you still acrimoniously defame R. James Milgram and Wayne Bishop, two brave mathematicians who questioned your extremely controversial Railside Study that claims College Preparatory Mathematics had led to great success. Milgram was one of the four Stanford mathematicians who wrote the highly-regarded, internationally competitive 1997-2010 California math standards, which had guided the significant improvements in math performance by California students -- especially the disadvantaged students – in this … Read More

Jo Boaler, in your recent post https://joboaler.people.stanford.edu/, you still acrimoniously defame R. James Milgram and Wayne Bishop, two brave mathematicians who questioned your extremely controversial Railside Study that claims College Preparatory Mathematics had led to great success.

Milgram was one of the four Stanford mathematicians who wrote the highly-regarded, internationally competitive 1997-2010 California math standards, which had guided the significant improvements in math performance by California students — especially the disadvantaged students – in this pre-Common Core era. As the only academic mathematician on the Common Core validation committee, he refused to sign off on the very deficient and mediocre Common Core math standards in 2009.

Wayne Bishop was the mentor/teacher of Jaime Escalante, a legendary math teacher immortalized by a 1988 film, Stand and Deliver, and 2016 Forever stamp. Escalante publicly honored Wayne Bishop in the premiere showing of Stand and Deliver.

“The current revolution in mathematics curriculum, akin to the Whole Language experiment, that emphasizes group discussion, essays, calculators and guessing and de-emphasizes basic skills and direct instruction.” This definition of Whole Math/Fuzzy Math/Reform Math from the 1990s captures the essence of today’s Reform Math promoted by Jo Boaler and the current CMF she spearheaded.

Would you please stop defaming and harassing Jim Milgram, Wayne Bishop, and other mathematicians who have fought their whole lives to salvage US K-12 math education that has been tragically hijacked and ravaged by Reform Math promoted by you and your supporters?

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Cathy Kessel2 months ago2 months ago“1997-2010 California math standards, which had guided the significant improvements in math performance by California students”? NAEP scores did not agree. See https://mathedck.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/comments-on-milgrams-review-of-final-draft-core-standards/.

“Mediocre Common Core math standards”? Milgram says of Common Core “This is fully two to three years behind what is expected from students in high-achieving countries.” This claim seems to be based on a historical mistake. See https://mathedck.wordpress.com/2022/10/13/strongcommon-core-and-programs-used-in-high-achieving-countries-strong/.

SD Parent2 months ago2 months agoJo Boaler's arguments are flawed by forming "conclusions" based on "data" that is incomplete or misinterpreted, not supported by facts. For example, Ms. Boaler claims that students of color are "pushed out" of higher math courses like Calculus based on a graph of the differences in the percentage of students of various ethnicities who complete Calculus in high school. But the disparity in Math achievement doesn't manifest in high school or even middle … Read More

Jo Boaler’s arguments are flawed by forming “conclusions” based on “data” that is incomplete or misinterpreted, not supported by facts. For example, Ms. Boaler claims that students of color are “pushed out” of higher math courses like Calculus based on a graph of the differences in the percentage of students of various ethnicities who complete Calculus in high school. But the disparity in Math achievement doesn’t manifest in high school or even middle school. The CAASPP results in Math for third graders show the same disparities: in 2021-22, 75% of Asian students met standards, 60% of White students met standards, 31% of Hispanic/LatinX students met standards, and 24% of Black/African American students met standards. The only real solution to disparities in math achievement in advanced high school classes is to work at the elementary school level with data-driven instructional strategies that improve math knowledge and comprehension (not try to remediate students who leave elementary school with large deficits by mixing them in classrooms with students who are more advanced).

Similarly, Ms. Bolar claims that providing other math classes (with, frankly, lower rigor) in high school will actually provide STEM opportunities to students with lower math comprehension. But Calculus is still a required course for admission to STEM major programs at many colleges and universities. And although standardized testing may have been eliminated as an admissions requirement for a lot of colleges and universities, most STEM majors are required to take rigorous math courses as part of the core undergraduate curriculum. Students are routinely dropped from the STEM majors (particularly the most competitive) for failure to obtain a B in these “weeder” courses, which are often graded on a curve. How well will a student who took a watered down Algebra II or data-science course in high school likely to do in college courses like Calculus B&C, Differential Equations, Discrete Mathematics, etc. compared to a student who took Calculus A?

These kinds of unsupported claims and conclusions by Ms. Bolar make me question every claim, conclusion, and “solution” she puts forward. Since her recommendations are not supported by facts, it would be a travesty to build California’s math curriculum and pathways them instead of tackling the real problem: math instruction in elementary school that allows the deficits in math to develop and grow.

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Dr. Bill Conrad2 months ago2 months agoPerfectly said and well supported. Truth be told. Nobody wants to tackle the obvious need for the transformation of K-12 Math education. Pathetic!

James Nagel2 months ago2 months agoMaths and reading is easy to remedy… its really simple to create the advanced kids of tomorrow… without even stretching… its more of a game than actual education… the results are mindblowing and rewarding.

Amit2 months ago2 months agoAs a computer scientist and engineer, I disagree strongly with the proposed changes. The problem is in the teaching of math. The solution proposed does not address this fundamental issue. Rather it starts looking at math through racial stereotypes. If the authors of this new curriculum were serious about iremoving inequity in math, they would propose methods on how to teach it better.

Andrew Dempsey2 months ago2 months agoThe goal is to get more students to take higher level math, and in a meaningful way ... as in, they are actually learning/developing higher level math skills, not just getting credit as if. It shouldn't matter what their race is, but it should be observed if there are pockets of failure greater in some areas than others. Imagine two separate students who are of equal potential and are both in kindergarten. Appreciate what it took to … Read More

The goal is to get more students to take higher level math, and in a meaningful way … as in, they are actually learning/developing higher level math skills, not just getting credit as if.

It shouldn’t matter what their race is, but it should be observed if there are pockets of failure greater in some areas than others.

Imagine two separate students who are of equal potential and are both in kindergarten. Appreciate what it took to get them to this point considering that they are both ready for kindergarten and are ready to learn.

Fast forward almost 12 years … one of them is taking their final exam in calculus, senior year, the results will be good. The other is struggling through senior year “college prep” math, their second attempt, they actually won’t pass this time either.

What happened? What went wrong? When did they diverge from their equal starting position? Was it kindergarten, was it fourth grade? Was it later? This is the question to answer, I think.

Simply reorganizing the standards and/or the framework doesn’t address the question. The question is hard to address, but whatever happened, something did indeed become unequal, something caused the divergence. We should address the beginning of it, I think, and not the end point which is high school math.

Figure out why fifth graders aren’t at a fifth grade level before you worry about middle school and high school.

David Young2 months ago2 months agoI may be missing something here, but this strategy seems to miss some very important issues.

It seems to completely ignore socio-economic class, generation of immigration, familial/parental educational history, family composition (intact married vs. single parent), child’s ability, and others.

Assuming a single developmental profile and a corresponding curriculum sequence fails to take into account the many variables associated with achievement.

Dr. Bill Conrad2 months ago2 months agoThe saddest part about this controversy is that it is built on the myth that some kids (mostly white and Asian) have better aptitude at math than other kids (children of color). The reality is that the variation in math readiness lies in the quality of math instruction throughout the K-12 education system. Focus on that root cause problem and stop scapegoating the victims.

JudiAU2 months ago2 months agoOur charter elementary school is a (still) a devotee of Ms. Boaler and uses Everyday Math, a downward spiraling curriculum which builds ennui without fluency. Lucky, we live within the bounds of LAUSD and we’ve eventually been able to escape to middle schools that welcome and encourage different math pathways, screen all children for giftedness, and allow acceleration based on interest or test scores. My daughter is happily completing Algebra II as an eighth … Read More

Our charter elementary school is a (still) a devotee of Ms. Boaler and uses Everyday Math, a downward spiraling curriculum which builds ennui without fluency. Lucky, we live within the bounds of LAUSD and we’ve eventually been able to escape to middle schools that welcome and encourage different math pathways, screen all children for giftedness, and allow acceleration based on interest or test scores. My daughter is happily completing Algebra II as an eighth grader in a public school this year. My son completed Geometry as an eighth grader in a public school. My younger son will likely follow.

American math is currently being taught in the most tedious way because of you-know-who. Let children proceed at their own pace based on their own interests and they will surprise you.

Jeanne Lazzarini2 months ago2 months agoI totally support the work that Jo, Cathy, and their colleagues are doing to bring real, equitable and meaningful mathematics to everyone! This is a must read for all!

PS2 months ago2 months agoYou mean dumb it down or teach students so they can gain some proficiency? Also, students of different skill levels can take different courses in Math. There shouldn’t be any political debates or need to fix that in the name of equality.

John Dell2 months ago2 months agoUntil the math education establishment can face the fact that there is a measurable cognitive spectrum

andthat understanding will come with radically different student and teacher time costs across this spectrum, they are just rearranging inefficiency and nothing more. Attempts to artificially restrict students on the high end of this spectrum will only succeed in growing the class divide as wealthy parents augment, extend, and enhance their children’s math educations.Replies

Dr. Bill Conrad2 months ago2 months agoThere is a massive spectrum of math teaching quality too that contributes to the variance i. Student math performance. Let’s not forget that part

SFUSD Math Teacher2 months ago2 months agoWith respect, Dr. Boaler, I cannot trust anything you say. You have, in my most humble opinion, committed academic fraud. Your citations do not match your claims. And when they do, the studies are not statistically valid, and yet, somehow, you have enormous influence over my district. SFUSD has been your experiment for the past 10+ years, and this is what I've seen happen in this time period: An increased number of students are entering 9th … Read More

With respect, Dr. Boaler, I cannot trust anything you say. You have, in my most humble opinion, committed academic fraud. Your citations do not match your claims. And when they do, the studies are not statistically valid, and yet, somehow, you have enormous influence over my district. SFUSD has been your experiment for the past 10+ years, and this is what I’ve seen happen in this time period:

An increased number of students are entering 9th grade without having their multiplication facts memorized, without the ability to perform operations with positive and negative integers, decimals, and fractions, without the ability to solve one-step, two-step, and muti-step equations (even with integers!), and without the ability to work independently. This has had a catastrophically negative effect on high school mathematics.

The achievement gap has dramatically grown and so has the bipolarity within our classes. We’re now forced to differentiate our instruction over *multiple* years; students who are entering 9th grade with less than a 5th grade level of math competency are grouped with students who are ready for precalculus. No one is getting the time, practice, and attention they need to thrive.

For the record, I am pro-union, anti-racist, a democratic socialist, pro-LGBTQ+, anti-privatization, and 100% an academic, who values truth above all other virtues. Dr. Boaler, again, with respect, your experiment (if it can be called that) in SFUSD has failed. It’s time to admit failure and move aside. That you’re on the verge of implementing your ideas at the state level is horrifying.

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Erik Johnson2 months ago2 months agoWell said!

PHILLIP LEASURE2 months ago2 months ago"This sorting of young students, pushing most of them away from high-level pathways, has led to indefensible racial and social inequities, with only 16% of students in the U.S. taking calculus in high school." Do you have evidence to support the claim more than 16% of students either wanted to take Calculus or were capable of taking Calculus? Anecdotally, as someone who took Calculus in High School and was with the other 10% of my … Read More

“This sorting of young students, pushing most of them away from high-level pathways, has led to indefensible racial and social inequities, with only 16% of students in the U.S. taking calculus in high school.”

Do you have evidence to support the claim more than 16% of students either wanted to take Calculus or were capable of taking Calculus? Anecdotally, as someone who took Calculus in High School and was with the other 10% of my class of students who also were there, the other 90% had no interest or weren’t capable. Having taken Statistics in college, I would consider it beneficial, at least to show students how garbage most statistics put out into the world are.

E Cohen2 months ago2 months agoWhile the author attempts to address myths and misrepresentations, there seems to be a conflation of what these actually are. The practice of sorting students into fixed tracks at age 10, which the author criticizes, is no longer an issue in Bay Area middle schools. In reality, there are two approaches being implemented: The most effective districts provide flexible math pathways that cater to individual student needs. This includes the ability to accelerate the … Read More

While the author attempts to address myths and misrepresentations, there seems to be a conflation of what these actually are.

The practice of sorting students into fixed tracks at age 10, which the author criticizes, is no longer an issue in Bay Area middle schools. In reality, there are two approaches being implemented:

The most effective districts provide flexible math pathways that cater to individual student needs. This includes the ability to accelerate the learning or skip a year of standards if proficient or lane down when needed. They use objective standardized tools to place students into math courses, offer multiple acceleration opportunities, and provide support in small homogeneous groups for students who are struggling. Examples of such districts include Los Altos and Cupertino, which achieves remarkable results even with funding below the state average.

On the other hand, the least effective districts are those that offer a single middle school pathway that forces students who are one or more years behind or ahead into a rigid classroom. Palo Alto is a highly-funded district that has taken this route, but data from the SBAC shows that despite having really small (24 student) middle school math classrooms, more students in PAUSD fail to meet minimum grade level standards compared to their peers in Cupertino and Los Altos. This applies to both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students.

Ironically, the less effective districts, such as PAUSD, justify their practice through the author’s consultancy or flawed research.

The author’s proposals for high school are similarly misguided and demonstrate a lack of understanding of the preparation required for college-level STEM courses and how math content builds on foundations. Condensing the calculus pathway is not a viable option for students, as it has already proven to be unsuccessful at SFUSD.

Students are best served when they have the opportunity to establish a strong foundation in middle school, which includes Algebra 1 or more, so that they can continue building on that foundation in high school. While some students may progress at a later stage, those who are ready early should not be held back. Acceleration opportunities, such as doubling up on courses or completing summer work, should always be permitted, regardless of a student’s current level. However, the availability of these opportunities should never be used as an excuse to hold students back during middle school.

Noroja2 months ago2 months agoI really like the ideas backed by strong data and wished we had someone like

Jo with deep knowledge and understanding of mathematics, statistics and politics as the mathematics curriculum is rewritten in NSW, Australia!

Matilda Mann2 months ago2 months agoThis piece makes claims that aren't supported by the sources she cites. Her citation for her claim that "Students choosing data science may take statistics as a culminating course, an option that is already encouraging a broader group of students to pursue advanced mathematics courses." is a case study of 19 students taking Introduction to Data Science at a single high school. The study doesn't show that more students took advanced math because their school … Read More

This piece makes claims that aren’t supported by the sources she cites. Her citation for her claim that “Students choosing data science may take statistics as a culminating course, an option that is already encouraging a broader group of students to pursue advanced mathematics courses.” is a case study of 19 students taking Introduction to Data Science at a single high school. The study doesn’t show that more students took advanced math because their school offered IDS, only that students in IDS reported enjoying the course. She also claims “Unfortunately, requiring that all students take Algebra 2 has led to far too many students never taking another math course in high school. ” but her citation is just an NCES report on math and science course enrollments and does not discuss the effects of requiring Algebra II or even the course taking patterns of students who took Algebra II.

Zeev Wurman2 months ago2 months agoI suspect this is an opening salvo in the upcoming renewed battle over the math frameworks.

Boaler never answered or rebutted the multiple erroneous references and citations in her draft and now she hopes people have forgotten the fake research support she provided.

In any case, to learn more about Boaler’s attitude toward math knowledge and facts, one simply has to read a recent article of hers.

https://hechingerreport.org/opinion-can-we-please-stop-talking-about-so-called-learning-loss/

Maya K2 months ago2 months agoI agree this discussion is very acrimonious. I think it is important to note that the majority of the people who disagree with the solutions proposed in the math framework are not anti equity or misogynistic. I will be 59 this summer. I am an electrical engineer. I entered a STEM (before it was called that) college in 1982. There is and was sexism in this field. Especially back then with the older … Read More

I agree this discussion is very acrimonious. I think it is important to note that the majority of the people who disagree with the solutions proposed in the math framework are not anti equity or misogynistic.

I will be 59 this summer. I am an electrical engineer. I entered a STEM (before it was called that) college in 1982. There is and was sexism in this field. Especially back then with the older professors who wouldn’t even pretend to hide their disdain (husband hunting was why women were in engineering classes doncha know?).

We need to diversity STEM. The more diverse experiences we bring in to the fold the better we all are for it. The oximeter problems in darker skin people that was discovered during COVID is case in point. The readings aren’t as accurate and people were sent home when they should have remained in the hospital. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/21/sajid-javid-announces-review-racism-bias-medical-devices

The solutions Dr. Boaler proposes however may make it harder for underserved communities to enter STEM.

Dr. Brian Conrad from Stanford Math department has published a very well researched and thoughtful response to the second draft of the CMF here: https://sites.google.com/view/publiccommentsonthecmf/#h.cckogmmiz8sw

Academic staff at four year universities put out a statement about the data science pathways proposed: https://sites.google.com/view/mathindatamatters

The dean of engineering and associate provost of data science at Berkeley, both women, wrote this op ed with their concerns. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-05-12/california-math-education-framework-test-scores

Meanwhile, I raised two children in San Francisco which was testing a theory to improve equity which Dr. Boaler and Richard Carranza were advocating. This was to delay Algebra 1 to 9th grade. This was proposed in version 1 of the California Draft Framework. It has not worked and it has been in place for 9 years this fall.

Dr Boaler wrote an op ed which was cited in this draft framework making erroneous claims which were also repeated on twitter. https://twitter.com/joboaler/status/908330781205970944

https://hechingerreport.org/opinion-how-one-city-got-math-right/

Through public data requests we found that 100 students out of 2,359 failed Algebra 1 in 2013-14, the last year they took Algebra 1 in 8th grade. There was no tracking, everyone took Algebra 1 in 8th. This is 4% not 40%. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rFoxHb4Ge9Y8j1EjzxknlGH5ww3jcQZ-/view

The district hasn’t addressed this except to say it was a one time drop because of a California Standardized test the students had to score proficient on. That doesn’t hold up because the CST (STAR) system was discontinued October 2013 to make way for SBAC field testing. https://web.archive.org/web/20131016203651/http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/curriculum-and-standards/files/end-of-year-testing-faq.pdf

They also miscounted the compression class which they call Algebra 2 + Precalculus as precalculus. It is not. UC analyzes these classes and found it doesn’t meet precalculus standards and categorizes this class as Algebra 2. https://hs-articulation.ucop.edu/agcourselist/institution/2035

I agree with Dr. Boaler. We need to diversify STEM. My two children are adults now and straddled the disastrous San Francisco delayed algebra experiment. My son is an electrical engineer himself and my daughter is a rising STEM college senior. We need to widen opportunities so every child has access not just those whose families know how work the system.

I hope everyone can work together collaboratively to improve access and not “my way or the highway”.

Millie O'Donnell2 months ago2 months agoDr. Boaler’s proposals will make things worse for CA student math proficiency, just as similar proposals to hers have decreased math proficiency at SFUSD, a mirror image of the CA math curriculum framework Dr. Boaler would like to see recommended for all of California’s public schools.

Produce objective evidence of your claims, Dr. Boaler.

Dick Fuller2 months ago2 months agoHonest discussion is good. I do not hear the humility your problem deserves. Your voice is primarily assertive. Why should I accept a 5 “mathematics expert” solution,? You offer no argument for the preference of yours over others. Why do you think the solution is found in remixing the current curriculum?

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Andrew Dempsey2 months ago2 months agoGreat comment. The voice of the argument made me distrust it immediately. No one knows how to handle this situation, so of course humility is in order. If you don’t have that, you probably can’t help.

Dianne DeMille2 months ago2 months agoI think Jo Boaler has addressed the issues presented in a powerful way. I really appreciate these comments and clarifications. IT iS the right way for teaching mathematics!

Anthony2 months ago2 months agoHow is Dr. Boaler still respected? She fudged her data on her 'successful' high school curriculum (as proved by fellow Standford MATH professors, unlike her) and still manages to charge $5,000/hour for her worthless advice. Go read a little bit at the Stanford Review, or look up her neuroscience nonsense. Ugh, she will make it even more difficult for hard working students of ANY race and background to succeed. Oh, I succeeded … Read More

How is Dr. Boaler still respected? She fudged her data on her ‘successful’ high school curriculum (as proved by fellow Standford MATH professors, unlike her) and still manages to charge $5,000/hour for her worthless advice. Go read a little bit at the Stanford Review, or look up her neuroscience nonsense. Ugh, she will make it even more difficult for hard working students of ANY race and background to succeed. Oh, I succeeded in obtaining my Ph. D. In Princeton math as a South American immigrant who hardly spoke English. She treats us Hispanics like idiots with her condescending nonsense.

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Ross2 months ago2 months agoWhy are we recreating the wheel? Decades ago teacher Jaime Escalante at Garfield High School in working class East Los Angeles had over 400 students in his math enrichment program and over 95 passed the AP Calculus exam! His methods worked.

Many high schools have embarrassingly low numbers of students pass even basic math proficiency. So how are these beneficiaries of social promotion supposed to successfully tackle algebra and calculus?

P.S. Envy and unions kneecapped Escalante, who sometimes had over 50 students in a class.