Recent changes in Ohio law have added new requirements to the “Algebra II or Its Equivalent” graduation requirement (section 3313.603 of the Ohio Revised Code). These include Ohio’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) and the development of a series of End-of-Course (EOC) exams (section 3301.0712.b.2 of the Ohio Revised Code).
To meet the Ohio Core Graduation requirements of four units of high school mathematics including “Algebra II or Its equivalent,” ALL students must be given access to high-quality high school mathematics. This means that all courses should focus on high school-level content, as defined by the CCSSM.
In the development of the CCSSM, the writers have identified the content required for high school mathematics courses. Appendix A of the CCSSM provides guidelines for both pathways: the traditional (Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II), and the integrated (Math I, II, and III). This document provides guidance for the content and organization of the curriculum of an Algebra II and an equivalent Math III course.
The final part of this guidance describes the impact of the EOC exams required by Ohio law. For mathematics, these will minimally consist of the PARCC EOC exam for mathematics. The PARCC consortium is developing a series of three EOC exams for each of the two pathways (traditional and integrated). The PARCC Model Content Frameworks (MCF) for mathematics provides information about the high school EOC exams.
Any course that is identified as equivalent to Algebra II should meet the following guidelines;
The goal of any course sequence should be to complete a series of courses through “Algebra II or its Equivalent” by the end of the third year of high school. This allows students in the fourth year the opportunity to take other courses at the Algebra II level or higher, such as, pre-calculus, statistics, quantitative reasoning, transitions to college algebra and many Career-Technical Education courses.
The Ohio Department of Education recommends not delaying the “Algebra II or Its Equivalent” course and EOC exam for students until their senior year. Depending on student-level accountability, some students may not be eligible to graduate on time based on this course and EOC exam, if delayed until the student’s senior year, (Note: districts still have local control of the course offerings.)
The Ohio Core, CCSSM, and the Assessment System challenge Ohio educators to examine their entire P-12 mathematics curriculum to ensure that all students have opportunities to properly prepare them to develop “Algebra II or Its Equivalent” competencies.
Note: Students who begin their study of high school courses before 9th grade should be expected to take more advanced mathematics courses (e.g., pre-calculus, AP Calculus, AP Statistics) in 11th and 12th grades.
Assistant Director – Assessment Development and Construction