San Francisco’s Controversial Math Policy is On its Last Leg

For eight years, students in the San Francisco Unified School District have had to wait until high school to take Algebra I. That’s about to change. The controversial policy — meant to foster student equity — is finally being abandoned by SFUSD amid pressure from parents, advocacy organizations, and local leaders. 

SFUSD outlined its plans for re-introducing eighth grade Algebra this month. You can read more about the plan here. The school board still needs to approve the recommendations in February. The changes would be implemented next school year.

Critics of the current policy say it hinders access to advanced math courses and STEM achievement. Meanwhile, there is no evidence that it has increased equity or helped close the achievement gap. In fact, there is some evidence that it has done the opposite. 

San Francisco leaders have gotten involved in the issue. The Board of Supervisors recently voted to put a measure on the ballot that would make Algebra I available by the eighth grade.  


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