I know things are changing around right now, so I am not sure what all is going on in lower grades (though the above description of 2nd grade sounds pretty similar to what my daughter is doing).

I teach in a high school, so I can tell you what we have been doing and what we are shifting to. I’m in West Virginia, and we have until 2015, so different counties have different orders.

Up until last year, it was various basic math concepts up through 8th grade. Now you could be advanced a bit in middle school, with some kids getting to take pre-algebra in 7th grade, then algebra 1 in 8th (and a few very bright kids getting to take algebra 1 in 7th and then either geometry or algebra 2 in 8th, but most people were against this in general). In 8th grade, until last year, all the middle schools in my county had 3 options for 8th – general math, pre-algebra, and algebra 1. If you took Algebra 1 you got an actual high school credit and your grade counted in your Cumulative GPA for high school.

Once you got to high school, all students are required to take 4 math classes to graduate. The progression is Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Trig, Pre-Calc, Calculus 1, Calculus 2 (or, instead of Calculus you can take AP Statistics). You can double up (take two classes in one year) on a combination of Geometry, Algebra 2, Trig, and Pre-Calc, in order to get as far as you want or just take the first 4 in a row. For lower kids we did offer Algebra 1 with Support (takes 2 periods a day, all year long, with two teachers in the room, and you do get 2 credits for it). Also we have a class called Conceptual Math, which is not considered College Prep, that basically reviews Alg 1&2, Geometry, and some real-world things like taxes and finance. And I teach a college prep class called Transition Math, which is a review for college bound seniors that can’t pass the state testing and so aren’t ready for act/sat and college algebra.

But now the high schools are all changing. This year there is no Algebra 1. These current 9th graders will take the new series of classes all the way up, while the current 10th and above will stay on the old system. So I teach some Geometry this year, but it won’t exist as a class next year. We are going to the “Math 1, Math 2, Math 3” system. In talking to the 9th grade math teachers, they do a mix of different classes. So when they do an Algebra 1 concept, they up it into Algebra 2. There is Geometry all throughout as well, and even a smattering of Trig and Stats. They are still working out the kinks this first year. In looking at the Math 2 objectives, which will start next year, there is about 1/3 of the current geometry, with more of the algebra and a much heavier hitting of trig and stats. Math 3 finishes the geometry and trig, and bumps the algebra up into what we currently do in pre-calc. Supposedly Math 3 will be leveled into a non-college-bound technical version, a “regular” college-bound version, and a STEM version for the math/science kids.

No one seems quite sure what the options will be for the 4th year of math. Currently Calculus, Statistics, and Transition are still showing up in info sheets we get, along with Math 4 and Mathematical Modeling, whatever those turn out to be. In a couple more months I will have to make the decision of whether or not I want to be a Math 2 teacher, going to trainings and such this summer, or stick with the old way for another year or two .