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ëDistrict policy requires standardized test
scores (primarily Iowa and TAKS) to be
used with grades.´
ëDistrict guidelines direct the placement of
students in Algebra in the 8th grade.´
ëI follow the same schedule that the
students from the home school enter
with.´
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ëThe district has a matrix that we follow that guides us in
placing students in Algebra I as an 8th grader. ºe
examine previous grades and teacher recommendations to
determine placement in our AVID (college prep)
program.´
ëTeacher recommendations are important but much less
reliable due to subjectivity.´
ëI would consider the students¶ desire for a challenge and
then speak with the teacher as well.´
ëI follow the same schedule that the students from the
home school enter with.´
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ëCourse selection or qualification for advanced classes is
the only time we meet to discuss placement. µDistrict¶s
Track¶ doesn¶t allow a student to enter in higher classes in
8th grade unless enrolled in 7th grade mathematics.´
ëI follow the same schedule that the student¶s from the
home school enter with.´
ëºe tell students in the 6th grade when we let them
choose their courses about district mathematics
requirements. ºe tell them again at orientation night
during the first day of school. ºe tell them again at open
house, early fall. ºe tell them again in the GT parents¶
meeting held in the fall and spring. ºe send out letters
late spring.´
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A counselor repeated the matrix¶s
guideline as basis for her action regarding
placement of African American students
in 8th grade mathematics.
Counselors commented: ë nce again,
Algebra I placement is determined by a
matrix given to us by the district.´
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X A study should be conducted to involve
representative samples from one or
more districts in a similar study to
determine if results can be duplicated.
X A study should be conducted to involve
another group of students (ºhites,
ispanics, Asians, etc.) in a similar
study.
30
X A study should be conducted to
determine specific activities of the
guidance and counseling department in
the placement of students not only in
mathematics but also in the different
core areas of science, English and social
studies.
X A study should be conducted on the
quality of mathematics instruction
involved in the different tracks. 3
X A study should be conducted to predict
the performance of African American
students in the other core areas.
X A quantitative study should be
conducted with a large random sample
of teachers and school counselors
regarding the impact of high school
mathematics curricula on the
mathematics TAKS ExitLevel
performance of students. 3m
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Simply put, until African American students
on the precollege level are participating at
the highest levels in more rigorous,
challenging science and mathematics courses,
the achievement gap will only become more
pronounced. Although African Americans
have increased their participation in the
sciences within the last decade, it is important
to note that these advances are still miniscule
when compared to those of ºhite students
(Russell, 2005).
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