Wake debates algebra for at-risk students


The board met Tuesday evening for the first time in its new Cary headquarters.

Click here for a map to the new location.

In order for high school students to get on accelerated math and science tracks, they have to take Algebra One in the eighth grade.

School board member John Tedesco says a recent study found nearly three-quarters of at-risk students, who are deemed gifted, are being kept out of Algebra One largely because teachers are saying they are not ready.

"They're highly intelligent, highly capable, but get them in the right track, give them opportunity," Tedesco said. "So we've started pushing them in the last two years and we've seen thousands more kids in the advance tracks."

The Republican led board is trying to get more of those students in Algebra One, but critics say they're doing it without offering additional help for those students. Essentially it boosts the numbers of at-risk children in the class without giving them the resources to succeed.

"The questions that I have, are we putting children in classes, are we creating an environment with adequate resources?" asked Patty Williams of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.

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