Does early exposure to algebra harm achievement?

Exposing struggling students to algebra in middle school may not improve their math test scores and may, in fact, lead to lower grade-point averages and reduced chances of taking and passing more advanced math courses in high school, two new studies from California and North Carolina show. "The bottom line is: It doesn't appear that being in any [algebra] courses makes a difference in terms of the math [test]," said Don Taylor, an education consultant for the California education department and lead author of the California study.

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