State school board agrees to math change

ATLANTA — The State Board of Education on Monday agreed to a curriculum change that allows schools to teach math in a more traditional fashion for students who may be struggling with the so-called “integrated math curriculum.”

“We have approximately 17 percent of our current juniors that have one or no math credits, putting them at risk of not graduating,” said Superintendent John D. Barge said in a statement. “I see no harm in giving these students the opportunity to learn the math curriculum in a more traditional delivery, without compromising the rigor of the standards.”

Barge said the change “is not a retreat from the rigor of our Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). This is simply a restructuring of the GPS in a discrete fashion.”

The four “discrete” math courses are GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry, GPS Advanced Algebra, and GPS Pre-Calculus.

“We have many students who are currently struggling with the integrated approach to the math curriculum,” Barge said.

“We are seeing that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t in the best interest of all of our students,” Barge added. “Our systems need the flexibility to teach in the manner that best meets the needs of their students and local system leaders are best positioned to make those decisions.”

Currently, many struggling students are unable to take elective courses because they are taking a number of math courses, officials contend. In order to graduate, Georgia students need four math units.

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