Detroit Public Schools seventh graders to be taught Pre-Algebra starting this fall under district’s Academic Plan

Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542
Kisha Verdusco at 313-873-4546

All seventh-grade students in Detroit Public Schools will learn Pre-Algebra beginning next school year as part of the district’s five-year Academic Plan, which will be implemented this fall.

The ambitious academic plan is transforming the district’s curriculum and raising the level of classroom rigor for every grade in an effort to ensure every child meets or exceeds state and national achievement targets by 2015.

“By increasing rigor and introducing more complex concepts sooner, we are making sure DPS students get the kind of education that will allow them to compete not only in Michigan, but globally when they graduate,” said Chief Academic and Accountability Auditor Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “Every child must be prepared for college when they leave Detroit Public Schools, and this is one of the most important steps toward getting us to that point.”

In the past, DPS seventh graders were exposed to general math concepts, with a minimal amount of Pre-Algebra. This fall, the curriculum will be strengthened so students will be prepared to take Algebra I in eighth grade, during the 2011-2012 school year.

To meet the 2015 targets, ninth graders this fall will be given back-to-back classes, known as double dosing, in Algebra I. The first semester will consist of a double dose of Pre-Algebra and the second semester will be a double dose of Algebra I.

By 2015, the district expects to see a 98 percent graduation rate, every student scoring advanced or proficient on reading and math in grades 3-8 on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), as well as high performance on the high school Michigan Merit Examination (MME), and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

To support that, all seventh-grade teachers will receive professional development to support the curriculum change and to prepare them to use research-based techniques in the classroom.

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