Schools to maintain math curriculum

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The Newton County School System is expected to maintain its current math curriculum for high school students next year, although systems around the state were given permission to revert to an older version of the program.

In March, the state Board of Education voted to allow systems flexibility in high school math curricula. School systems across the state were told that next school year that they could continue with the current math program, called integrated math, or return to a discreet delivery model of math.

In integrated math, students take several levels of math that integrates algebra, geometry and statistics into each course.

In discrete math, students start off with algebra that also includes some statistics and continue on to geometry with integrated statistics and end with advanced algebra, also with integrated statistics. The plan is still somewhat different than models used in years past, which included pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, advanced algebra and statistics mostly in separate classes at the high school level.

Last week, Samantha Fuhrey, the director of Secondary Education at NCSS, informed the Newton County Board of Education that system officials plan to stick with the current integrated model, which was implemented a few years ago, for next school year.

"It makes sense," she said.

The Georgia Department of Education recently informed systems that for the 2012-13 school year, math curricula could change again to incorporate the new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, a more nationalized curriculum.

That could result in additional costs for textbooks and training; test scores also often are negatively affected by new methods, school officials have said. Fuhrey added that she isn't sure if the new curriculum would be integrated or discrete math, and officials have more questions about the imminent changes, so making changes now and possibly having to make more changes in the next year or two doesn't seem the right path to follow.

"We're staying the course for the next year and a half," Fuhrey said. "Most of the systems (in Georgia) are holding steady right now, and we're with them."