FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is required by the K-2 Assessment mandate?
- What is the purpose of the K-2 Assessment program?
- How can teachers possibly do all those K-2 assessments and still teach the Standard Course of Study?
- I am concerned about the use of calculators in the classroom. Shouldn't students learn the basics first before being allowed to use calculators?
- Should Algebra be offered in the Middle School?
- Where can I find information regarding EOG/EOC testing policies and procedures?
- Which courses are in the Mathematics Standard Course of Study and how may they be weighted?
- Can Introductory Mathematics be offered in middle school for accelerated students?
- Why can't Algebra 1 be offered as an honors course in districts where there is no Algebra 1 in the middle schools?
- How many mathematics courses are required for graduation?
- Do courses completed in middle school count for high school graduation?
What is required by the K-2 Assessment mandate?
There is not now and has never been a state-suggested pacing guide for mathematics. Collaborative creation of such a guide using your districts resources by experienced teachers is an excellent staff development activity that not only draws upon the expertise of teachers but also serves as an affirmation of their experience.
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What is the purpose of the K-2 Assessment program?
The intended purpose of these assessments is fourfold:
(1) to provide information about the progress of each student for instructional
adaptations and early interventions,
(2) to provide next-year's teachers with information about the status
of each of their incoming students,
(3) to inform parents about the status of their children relative to grade-level
standards at the end of the year, and
(4) to provide the school and school district information about the achievement
status and progress of groups of students (e.g., by school and grade level)
in grades K, 1, and 2.
How can teachers possibly do all those K-2 assessments and still teach the Standard Course of Study?
They can't and shouldn't try if they want to remain sane. What they need to do is produce a pacing guide to map out which objectives will be taught when, and when assessment of those objectives is appropriate. Then they can consult the wealth of materials presented for assessment and choose those parts that meet their needs. This on-going assessment needs to be documented and at the conclusion of the academic year a summative assessment needs to be administered and shared with each student's next-year's teacher.
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I am concerned about the use of calculators in the classroom. Shouldn't students learn the basics first before being allowed to use calculators?
It is definitely important for all students to acquire the fundamental concepts of mathematics early in school, including operational fluency with numbers (basic facts), and then build on those ideas to learn more advanced content. In the past, much of mathematics was learned through rote memorization; however, we now know that memorization is not an effective strategy of learning for understanding. Educational research indicates that conceptual understanding occurs when students learn concepts through applied problems prior to or concurrent with emphasis on skills. Approaching these applied problems with calculators enables students to concentrate on the problem rather than the computation, which will often be messy as are many real problems. Sound instructional practice recommends that students have access to calculators for both instruction and testing, and they should be instructed in thoughtful and appropriate uses of this powerful mathematical tool.
Should Algebra be offered in the Middle School?
Many folks are definitely evaluating the practice of offering Algebra 1 in the Middle School in light of the mathematics content that is now included in the grades 6-8 North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCS). As you look at the middle grades curriculum, you will note a rich curriculum that includes a significant amount of algebra and geometry in addition to the material from the Number & Operation, Measurement, and Data Analysis & Probability strands. Much of what had been in the former Algebra 1 curriculum is now moved to the middle school. There are some middle school students who could master the 6-8 curriculum in conjunction with the North Carolina Math I Standards for assessment. However, we must be cautious when screening and placing students in such situations, because many students need additional time to master these foundational skills and develop conceptual understanding in order to succeed in higher levels of mathematics. In fact, many researchers say that it would be better to err on the side of more students later and fewer students earlier.
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Where can I find information regarding EOG/EOC testing policies and procedures?
The DPI Accountability section has a wealth of information
available on EOG and EOC tests including test specifications, sample
test items, and calculator requirements.
You can access this
information at the following web sites:
www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/eog
www.ncpublicschools.org/accountability/testing/eoc
Which courses are in the Mathematics Standard Course of Study and how may they be weighted?
The courses are to be offered and coded as shown. Except for Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus and AP Statistics, the Standard Course of Study defines the STANDARD version of each course.
- Introductory Mathematics (2020): standard only
- Technical Mathematics 2 (2017): standard only (Ending July 2013)
- Algebra 1 (2023): standard only
- Geometry (2030): standard and honors
- Algebra 2 (2024): standard and honors
- Integrated Mathematics 1 (2051): standard only
- Integrated Mathematics 2 (2052): standard and honors
- Integrated Mathematics 3 (2053): standard and honors
- Integrated Mathematics 4 (2054): standard and honors
- Local Option CC Math I (2032): standard only
- Local Option CC Math II (2033): standard and honors
- Local Option CC Math III (2034): standard and honors
- Advanced Functions and Modeling (2025): standard and honors
- Discrete Mathematics (2050): standard and honors
- Pre-Calculus (2070): honors only
- AP Statistics (2065): AP only
- AP Calculus (2076): AP only
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Can Introductory Mathematics be offered in middle school for accelerated students?
Introductory Mathematics (2020) is NOT an accelerated course for middle school students. It is a review of middle school mathematics for high school students who are not ready for Algebra 1.
Why can't Algebra 1 be offered as an honors course in districts where there is no Algebra 1 in the middle schools?
The standard-only designation for Algebra 1 and honors-only designation for Pre-Calculus were established by State Board policy in 1995. The standard-only designation for Integrated Mathematics 1 was established by State Board policy in 2004.
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How many mathematics courses are required for graduation?
Effective with the Freshman Class of 2009-2010, Four Mathematics units are required for graduation: [Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II] OR [Integrated Mathematics I, II, III] OR [Local Option CC Math I, II, III] plus a fourth mathematics course to be aligned with the student's after-high-school plans. Also of further importance, the Future Ready core requirements are still in place with the implementation of the new CCSSM.
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Do courses completed in middle school count for high school graduation?
Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, students who pass mathematics or foreign language courses taken during grades 6-8 that are described in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Grades 9-12 must achieve a Level III or IV on the end-of-course assessment, if available, to meet the high school graduation requirement.