Does placing students in an algebra support class improve their math skills and help them pass algebra?
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not placing ninth grade students in an Algebra Support class significantly improved their math skills and also their chances of passing a high school Algebra course. In order to gauge the effectiveness of the Algebra Support class the following items were analyzed: the passing rate of ninth grade Algebra students over the past four years at the three comprehensive high schools in Escondido; teacher responses to a questionnaire regarding their teaching methodology; and the results of the UCSD Algebra Readiness Test given to the Orange Glen High School ninth graders at the beginning and end of the 2002-2003 school year The school that used a more integrated teaching approach to math had a significant increase in the passing rate of ninth grade Algebra students. The school that used a more traditional teaching approach to math had a significant decrease in the passing rate of ninth grade Algebra students. There was no significant difference in improvement of math skills between the students who were in an Algebra Support class and those that were not.