Most California math educators and policymakers agree that too many students repeat Algebra I, sometimes multiple times. Some worry that continuous failure in algebra can convince students they are "unable" to understand and use mathematics, or even cause some students to drop out.
- More than 200,000 students repeated the Algebra I CST in grades 8-11, according to state data. This figure does not include students who might have repeated the course in grade 12.
- 38% of 9th graders who took the Algebra I CST had already taken it in a prior year, as had more than half of 10th and 11th graders who took the test.
Repeating Algebra I in grade 10 or later is of particular concern because students may be excluded from college-prep courses in science that have algebra as a prerequisite.
Data: California Department of Education, 2008 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program Summary of Results, August 2008.