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Common Core Customized: A Guide to Math Course Names


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Triangle High Five, a collaborative effort representing five school districts in the Triangle (Chapel Hill-Carrboro City, Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake), worked during the past two years to determine how best to implement the Common Core State Standards in local schools. The group created a uniform set of math names and sequences, effective this school year, that are more closely aligned to the new standards.

Ruth Steidinger, senior director of middle school programs for Wake County Public School System, says names were changed because individual math subjects, such as Algebra I for example, will no longer be taught in isolation. Instead, they will be integrated across all grades with other math subjects, like geometry, probability and statistics.

"There will be much more of an integration of content, so all these things will be woven and intermingled into one course," Steidinger says. "These are courses we would not encourage students to take simultaneously because they build on each other, and you have to look at it as a progression over three years."

Teresa Daye, Durham Public Schools executive director for curriculum, instruction and assessment, says that a name change was "critical in shifting mindsets and instructional practices."

The new course names begin with middle school:

GRADES 6-8 Options

  • Common Core Math 6 or Common Core Math 6 Plus*
  • Common Core Math 7 or Common Core Math 7 Plus
    Common Core Math 8 or Common Core Math I
    (high school credit; formerly Algebra I)

GRADES 9-11 Options**

  • Common Core Math I (formerly Algebra I)
  • Common Core Math II (formerly Geometry) or Common Core Math II Plus*
  • Common Core Math III (formerly Algebra II) or Common Core Math III Plus
  • All math classes beyond Algebra II or Common Core Math III will keep their current names (Pre-calculus,Calculus, etc.).

* WCPSS added "Plus" to a course name to indicate it is an advanced option for middle school students, or an honors course for high school courses. Other school districts will also have honors versions available.

** The only high school-level Common Core math
class that will be offered for the 2012-13 school year is Common Core Math I (formerly Algebra I). Common Core Math II and III (formerly Geometry and Algebra II) won't be initiated until the 2013-14 school year. Eighth grade students are eligible to take Common Core Math I if they took Pre-algebra in seventh grade.
Students who already took Algebra I (whether in middle or high school), will continue on the old math track, which ends with Algebra II.

Learn more Common Core State Standards Come to North Carolina Schools.

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