Using data from a large urban district, this study investigated whether racial inequality in access to eighth-grade algebra is a reproduction of differences in prior opportunities to learn (as evidenced by grades, test scores, and level of prior mathematics course) or whether patterns reflect an increase in inequality such that racial differences in access remain when controlling for academic background. We considered how this varies by the racial composition of the school; further, we examined differences in access between both Black and Hispanic students and their White peers as well as differences between Black and Hispanic students. The results point to patterns of reproduction of inequality in racially integrated schools, with some evidence of increasing inequality in predominantly Hispanic schools
Karisma Morton and Catherine Riegle-Crumb
William J. Hegstrom and Donald E. Riffle
Edited by Eugene D. Nichols
Ability grouping for eighth-grade Algebra I is not a new idea. It has been tried many times. During the school years 1960-61 and 1961-62 a program of this nature was carried out at Delray Junior High School, Delray Beach, Florida.
Barbara K. Flexer
The relative importance of a group of cognitive variables in explaining the algebra achievement of high-ability eighth graders was investigated. Stepwise multiple regression analyses identified algebra prognosis test scores and performance in seventh-grade mathematics as the most influential predictors of algebra grades, whereas mathematics problem solving, the prognosis test, and IQ were shown to best predict achievement on a standardized algebra test. A discriminant analysis demonstrated the importance of the prognosis test in discriminating between students who successfully completed first-year algebra and those who dropped out of or failed the course. Although the study showed no sex difference in algebra achievement test scores, girls in the sample attained higher percentage grades for the course.
Dorothy L. Messler
Edited by Eugene D. Nichols
More and more, educators are evaluating curriculum programs to ascertain what can be done to meet the academic needs of pupils whose differences vary according to abilities and interests. One of the greatest problems has been in the field of mathematics, because it is one of the fastest growing and the most rapidly changing of the sciences. Many changes are taking place in the various school systems throughout the country to enrich and extend the mathematical program for the benefit of exceptional students.
Greek mathematicians developed the musical scale; Italian mathematicians inspired the Renaissance by introducing perspective and proportion in their artwork; and a group of eighth-grade algebra students earned the applause of middle school theater directors through the practical application of scale, measurement, geometry, and problem solving. These young mathematicians designed small-scale models of play sets and presented them to theater directors at a local competition called the One-Act Play.
-performing public and private schools as well as other schools that wish to be high-performing. Students see their friends in eighth-grade algebra classes and they (and their parents) do not want to be deprived of the opportunity. High schools are becoming more