Are You Smarter at Math Than an 8th Grader?

Eighth graders will no longer be required to take Algebra I. Some think standards are weakening, but how good is their algebra?

California's State Board of Education decided last month to drop Algebra I from the expected 8th grade curriculum, but Cupertino's schools have been ahead of the game with two tracks.

Now the state will allow 8th graders two tracks: Algebra I or a less rigorous alternative class. Some fear that this represents a step back in standards that will hurt minority students.

We thought we'd take a look at the Algebra I curriculum via questions from the 2008 California Standards Test. Do your best with the questions below, then tell us what you think of the curriculum change in the comments. 

Answers are at the bottom of the article, but don't peek!

1. What is the solution for this equation: |2x - 3| = 5

a) x = -4 or x = 4

b) x = -4 or x = 3

c) x = -1 or x = 4

d) x = -1 or x = 3

2. What is the y-intercept of the graph of 4x + 2y = 12?

a) -4

b) -2

c) 6

d) 12

3. What is the equation of the line that has a slope of 4 and passes through the point (3, -10)?

a) y = 4x - 22

b) y = 4x + 22

c) y = 4x - 43

d) y = 4x + 43

4. Mary has a total of 100 dimes and quarters. If the total value of the cois is $14.05, how many quarters does she have?

a) 27

b) 40

c) 56

d) 73


Answers: 1-C, 2-C, 3-A, 4-A

Do you think California is weakening its math standards? Tell us in the comments below.


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