Stack of school books and apple on desk in empty classroom

GREENSBORO — More middle-school students are enrolled in advanced math classes this school year than last, district leaders reported during a Guilford County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night.

The district is tracking and reporting on advanced math enrollment for middle schools in its pursuit of academic goals for 2020.

In this case, to have 75% of students who were sixth-graders in 2018-19 pass Math I (Algebra I) with a grade of "C" or better by the end of their ninth-grade year.

This year, 55.3% of sixth-graders are enrolled in advanced math courses. That’s up from 53.5% in 2018-19, district leaders said.

For seventh-graders, the gain was more sizable. This school year, 56.6% of students are enrolled in advanced math compared to 46.1% during the prior year.

In eighth grade, 36.6% of students are enrolled in advanced math — up from 33.6% last year.

District leaders also reported Tuesday that enrollment by middle schoolers in advanced math is becoming more racially representative of the student body.

Board member Darlene Garrett said a couple decades ago the school board supported an initiative to have almost all eighth-graders take Math I. Over the years, the district had gotten away from that plan.

Garrett said she remembered some teachers saying they felt it was important for students to be developmentally ready for algebra.

Whitney Oakley, the school system's chief academic officer, said she thought the district needs to continue to offer Math I as a ninth-grade course to some students, but also encourage others who are ready to take it as early as possible.

Contact Jessie Pounds at 336-373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.​

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