A Student’s Life Course is Set in Middle School

I recently butted into a conversation where a mom had considered putting her homeschooled student into public school for highschool. She has since decided on another course for her child after disagreeing with the schools math program.

Here in GA math is set up quite strange with Math1, Math2, Math 3, and Math 4 recommended. The problem with these math classes for high school students is that taking these math classes will not be sufficient enough for a child to be accepted into college. To get into college a child needs to take Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus or accelerated versions of Math 1-4. However, the only way for a child to get into this math track is to be recommended for it back in middle school. This means that before a child ever sets foot in high school, his middle school math teacher gets to decide if he or she will get into college.

As a homeschooling parent entering the high school, this mother was told that her son would go into Math regardless of the fact that he had aced Algebra as a homeschooled middle school student.

This phenomenon is not unique to Georgia. Back when I entered high school 25 years ago in New York, we were placed in survey or regents classes. Survey classes were far easier than regent’s classes, which meant survey students, received a regent’s diploma, which basically meant they would go to a community college at best after high school. Regent’s students would receive an education to prepare them for college.

The difference between now and then is that if a child showed a propensity to do harder work, he or she was switched over to a regents program. However, in the case I mentioned above the mother was told that once they were in the Math 1,2,3,4 track they would stay there. (This may not be true for all school districts in GA.)

So my question is how is this remotely fair to the students? If a middle school teacher does not take a special liking to a child, that student is forever doomed to a course that sets them up to get NO higher education and the school system holds them in that position for the rest of their life.

To be fair, read a teachers version of high school math placement (from a different state).

Read My Top 5 Math Curriculum Picks

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