Evaluating Algebra Readiness
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Eighth grade students taking Algebra I has become an increasingly common occurrence in the United States during recent years. Still, math education in America and the placement of algebra in the curriculum differs greatly from other countries. This work examines the arguments both for and against introducing algebra to students at earlier ages and then analyzes the effectiveness of a curriculum for that purpose. The Math Explorations curriculum created by the Texas Mathworks faculty at Texas State weaves algebra throughout its curriculum. Students complete Algebra I by the end of eighth grade in a three-text series that also covers state curriculum for sixth, seventh and eighth grades. This study examines the effectiveness of the curriculum in terms of both preparing students for algebra and student learning of state-mandated standards as assessed by TAKS testing.