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Math Placement

In the California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, the State of California documents:

"Pupil achievement in mathematics is important to prepare pupils for college and their future careers, especially those careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Placement in appropriate mathematics courses is critically important for a pupil during the middle and high school years. A pupil's 9th grade math course placement is a crucial crossroads for future educational success. Misplacement in the sequence of mathematics courses creates a number of barriers and results in pupils being less competitive for college admissions, including admissions at the California State University and University of California.

"New research shows that it is less common for pupils of color, even high-achieving pupils of color, to reach calculus by grade 12 compared to their white and Asian peers. All pupils, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic background, deserve an equal chance to advance in mathematics. With the shift towards implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, it is particularly important for all pupils to have access to high-quality mathematics programs that meet the goals and expectations of these standards. It is crucial for teachers and guidance personnel to advise pupils and parents on the importance of accurate mathematics course placement and its impact on future college eligibility so pupils may take each course in the mathematics course sequence."

Grades 6-12 Pathway

In the 2019-20 school year, PAUSD developed a revised middle grades mathematics course sequence for implementation in the 2020-21 school year. The revised pathway compacts four years of Common Core State Standards (CC standards for 6th, 7th, 8th, and Algebra) into three years of instruction in middle school. The report with details of the course pathway(s) can be found on the PAUSD BoardDocs website.

For students who demonstrate mastery of concepts through a validation process, there is a course of study that also includes Geometry in middle school. Students and parents/guardians can find out additional details for placement or the option of validation tests through the board report and the Frequently Asked Questions. There is a projected Pathway document that shows increased access for all students to enroll in Advanced Placement BC Calculus if desired.

Although only the information about placement of students from grades 8 to 9 and grades 5 to 6 are required by SB 359, in PAUSD, laning begins in 7th grade. Because PAUSD utilizes lanes instead of tracks, below you find a systems view of math paths through PAUSD from grade 6 through 12 in order to understand the choices and opportunities among the course offerings. The documents that you can access below illuminate placement from grades 5 through 12, especially detailing placement considerations throughout the middle school years.