Question – I went to parent teacher conferences last night at the high school. I was displeased to find out that concurrent enrollment options in math were being eliminated in favor of common core math standards. With six children in the district planning college careers, I find this very disturbing. Concurrent enrollment is that head start into college at a very reasonable cost. I’m having a hard time seeing the logic in taking that away. Please help me understand why we would eliminate a college credit option in favor of something inferior.
Response – There appears to be a miscommunication between what is now being offered and how this applies to concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement courses in the math curriculum. As part of the changes our high schools have seen, the intent has always been to grow, not eliminate concurrent enrollment options. However, given your obvious interest in a head start on college, please know that higher education has evaluated our course offerings and has determined that Secondary Math III is a prerequisite for the regents scholarship. The regent’s scholarship, is a year’s tuition, renewable for a second year. Students who think skipping Secondary Math III and taking Math 1050/60 puts them somehow money ahead simply haven’t done the math (pun intended). By all means, take concurrent math courses – but after Secondary Math III!
To the concern with new math standards, in the state of Utah, each university and college is able to track math students from each of their respective high schools. The data collected from 2011, which reflected students who’d had the old math standards, indicates that upwards of 40-56% of our high school students (depending on which high school) were needing to take remedial level math courses – and then a significant percentage failing those. The old standards clearly were not preparing kids for college math. The changes provide a more comprehensive math curriculum that better prepares our students. This new pattern still provides ample opportunity for concurrent enrollment and AP courses at the 11th and 12th grade level and even earlier for gifted students. This data driven approach to our course patterns will better prepare our students for college and for higher academic success.
Thanks to the teaching and learning division for their assistance in responding to this question.