The State of California has adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) which include two pathways for students to complete the required mathematics curriculum by the end of eleventh grade. These two pathways are the Traditional Pathway and the International or Integrated Pathway. The Traditional Pathway has historically been taught in the United States and includes Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. The International Pathway is aligned to the mathematics curriculum taught throughout the world including those countries with the highest success rates in mathematics.
Math teachers have enthusiastically endorsed the new Common Core middle school math standards for grades 6, 7 and 8 because of the focus and time provided for students to understand math concepts in a deeper way. Math teachers and leading math experts believe students will have better long term success in math when middle school students are first taught the new and more rigorous middle school math standards, before the option to accelerate is available.
At the School Board meeting on Wednesday, September 25th, staff presented the first review of the recommendation to 1) select the International Pathway option for Berkeley High School students, and 2) set up options for acceleration in grades 9 and 11 to give students two chances to prepare to take calculus in grade 12.
A full explanation of the pathways under consideration and the possible options for implementation are described in this School Board document.
Any changes to the secondary math pathway would not affect current Berkeley High School students, and would be gradually phased in starting with 9th grade in 2015-16.
Three Secondary Pathway Informational Sessions for parents/guardians are scheduled at the three middle schools in October:
Longfellow Middle School: Tues., Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the school library
King Middle School: Mon., Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the school library
Willard Middle School: Wed., Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the school library