This is for current 6th grade parents around San Jose, California.
In 7th grade there are 2-3 levels for math:
1. Algebra 1 (8th grade level)
2. Pre-Algebra Advanced
3. Pre-Algebra basics.
Advantages of Algebra 1
1. Highly motivated class. Less distraction in class, less discipline problem for the teacher and e.t.c…
2. Learning new material. The other two levels are pure repetitions of 6th grade.
3. High school placement of other subjects are based on the level of your math class.
4. One more AP class in high school will look good in your college application.
1. If the student is not strong in his/her fractions and integers, they will struggle.
2. The pacing of the Algebra 1 class is faster, so sometimes the student will feel stressed.
3. There is no room for being lazy in that class, so the student always needs to be on top of things.
How does the placement work?
1. Placement test score A and above
2. STAR test scores from 5th grade
3. Current grades/Teacher recommendation
Why don’t teachers recommend it?
1. Education is supposed to be fun here (no stress).
2. Everything’s ok (even not going to college…)
3. They don’t want to deal with what they cover in class or not.
Why I recommend it?
For me, it is not about math. It is about the culture and attitude the students are developing in these challenging classes during these important periods of their life. Being in that less challenging Pre-Algebra class will help the student develop a lazy attitude. They expect their future math classes to be this easy. The students are pushed down to a class with less problem-solving this way, and by the time they reach higher math classes like Pre-Calculus, they will face the lack of critical thinking skills.