Study: Early-algebra policies may backfire

A 1997 Chicago policy requiring all high-school freshmen to enroll in algebra may have caused far more students to fail math without improving students' math test scores or their likelihood of taking more advanced math courses, according to a study of 160,000 Chicago high-school students. "This policy that Chicago tried in 1997 seems to be sweeping the country now and not a lot of thought is being given to how it really affects schools," said lead researcher Elaine M. Allensworth.

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