Board Considers Math Change

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The state Board of Education is considering ways to bring its math curriculum into compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind education accountability law.

No Child Left Behind requires that states test students on the highest-level math course the state requires. The federal law holds schools accountable for students' performance on math and reading/language arts tests.

In Mississippi, geometry is the highest-level math course required for graduation, but students are given standardized tests in algebra I, which is a lower-level course than geometry.

The board is considering either dropping geometry as a graduation requirement, or changing its standardized test into a comprehensive math test that would include Algebra I and geometry.

Board member Kenny Bush of Philadelphia said removing the geometry requirement would send a message that Mississippi has lowered its math standards.

The state school board will take up the issue at its January meeting.