Fewer Mountain View K-8 School District children are prepared to take Algebra in the eighth grade than Los Altos K-8 School District children because Mountain View does not have a strong, rigorous math program like the Los Altos' program. In addition to its grade level program, Los Altos accelerates high ability math students, and such students begin a very intensive Algebra course in the seventh grade. The needs of exceptionally accelerated students are also met. There are no comparable programs in Mountain View K-8 School District.
The important reasons to prepare children to complete a rigorous Algebra course are so that they can go on to take additional rigorous math courses, so that they can succeed on standardized achievement tests, including the S.A.T., and so that they can then attend college or university. Regardless of college major or career choice, be it art, physical education or physics, a student's math S.A.T. score in part determines admission to the University of California.
Here, in Silicon Valley, there is pressing need for children to have rigorous math preparation because the computer-related jobs in our community demand a highly math-educated workforce. If we deny this math education to a portion of our population, we are denying children the opportunities to work at high paying computer-related jobs.
The statistics from the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District show the consequences of inadequate K-8 math preparation on the Hispanic school population. These statistics are especially alarming considering that Mountain View K-8 District is about 40% Hispanic.
Freshmen Math Placement
360 freshmen in Los Altos High class of 2002
130 students were placed in Geometry or Higher
Only 1 of those students was Hispanic
395 freshmen in the Mtn. View High class of 2002
123 students were placed in Geometry or Higher
Only 2 of those students were Hispanic
Link to the statistics below and compare the ethnic breakdown and the different feeder schools to the high schools: Compare Graham Middle School in Mountain View K-8 School District to Blach Junior High and Egan Junior High in the Los Altos K-8 School district. These statistics from the high school district show that students from Mountain View K-8 feeder school (Graham) do not place as high in ninth grade math placements as students from Los Altos K-8 feeder schools (Egan and Blach). The statistics also show that Hispanics as a group place very poorly. The link to the Ed-data site below contains the demographics of the feeder schools.
Math Placement Analysis By Feeder Schools & Ethnicity:
Demographics detailing school district, and individual school demographics can be found at Ed-Data
website. Find the demographics under county, district, name of school and then "students" under school profile report. It is important to type in the correct county before beginning the search.