Algebra I/Mathematics I Graduation RequirementsFrequently asked questions for Algebra I graduation requirements.
Q. During the stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus and the shift to distance learning, must local educational agencies (LEAs) continue to implement their Mathematics Placement Policy pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 51224.7?
A. The Mathematics Placement Act of 2015 , set forth in EC Section 51224.7, requires that governing boards or bodies of LEAs that serve pupils entering grade nine have a mathematics placement policy in place, with specified elements, for pupils entering grade nine.
The decision of how a LEA is to implement its Mathematics Placement Policy is a local one. During this time of distance learning, each governing board or body of a LEA will need to determine what action(s), if any, to take regarding its Mathematics Placement Policy for mathematics course placement for the 2020-21 school year. As equity is at the heart of the Mathematics Placement Act, it is pertinent to note that each policy is required to have a checkpoint within the first month of the school year.
Q. When does the Algebra I requirement actually go into effect?
A. "Commencing with the 2003-04 school year" refers to the beginning of the school year. The requirement applies to the graduating class of the 2003-04 school year, which includes any students who graduate during the school year.
Q. Do special education students have to meet this requirement?
A. Special education students have to meet the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement. In order to earn a high school diploma, students in special education are required to pass a course or combination of courses based on all Algebra I or Mathematics I content standards. The Algebra I or Mathematics I content standards are the same for all students; however, some students in special education may require accommodations or modifications to instruction. The individualized education program (IEP) team determines the type of instruction appropriate for each student. For students whose IEP team has determined they are pursuing an alternative diploma pathway as described in 51225.31, they are required to pass coursework for Algebra I or Mathematics 1 coursework aligned to the state standards.
Q. Can a waiver be filed for special education students with regards to the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement?
A. Under California Education Code (EC) Section 56101, the governing board of a district or county office of education or a Special Education Local Plan Area may request the State Board of Education (SBE) to grant a waiver for individual students from all or part of the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement . However, the review and approval of these waivers will be stringent. For additional information, including the online waiver process, see the Specific Waiver Request web page and Waiver Process for the State Board of Education.
Q. Do students who graduate through an adult school program have to meet this requirement?
A. Students who graduate through an adult school program within a K-12 local educational agency must meet the same graduation requirements as any other graduate in the district as stated in EC Section 52504.
Q. Does "complete the course," mean "pass the course?"
A. Completing the course is the same as passing the course.
If a student passes Algebra I or Mathematics I prior to grade nine, is the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement met?
A. EC Section 51224.5(c) provides that the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement is met if a student, prior to enrollment in grade nine, completes a course in Algebra I or Mathematics I, or mathematics courses of equal or greater rigor, that is aligned to the content standards adopted by the SBE.
Q. Must students take two mathematics courses in grades nine through twelve?
A. Under EC Section 51225.3(a)(1)(B), students in grades 9 through 12 must take two unique mathematics courses regardless of whether they took Algebra I/Mathematics I prior to grade nine. A local board of education can establish specific mathematics courses, e.g., Mathematics I and Mathematics II, or Algebra I and Geometry, as graduation requirements.
If the time to complete a course is extended, such that only a portion of the standards are covered within a school year and the rest are completed during a second year, the student has only completed ONE course.
Q. Can "course" be interpreted to mean one semester of Mathematics I or Algebra I?
A. The requirement is that the course "meets or exceeds the rigor of Algebra I or Mathematics I that is aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board pursuant to Sections 60605.8 and 60605.11." The intent of the law is for students to complete a full course of Algebra I, Mathematics I, or a mathematics course of equal or greater rigor, as modeled in the Mathematics Framework for California Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve.
Q. If a student passes the first semester of a one-year Algebra I course and then changes to a two-year Algebra I course, will this meet the Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement?
A. The Algebra I/Mathematics I graduation requirement is only met if a student has completed a full course in Algebra I or Mathematics I, or mathematics course of equal rigor, that is aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board pursuant to EC Sections 60605.8 and 60605.11. All standards of Algebra I or Mathematics I must be addressed in the course(s).
Q. If a student is in an integrated pathway (Mathematics I, Mathematics II, and Mathematics III), what course(s) fulfills the Algebra I graduation requirement?
A. The requirement is that the course “meets or exceeds the rigor of Algebra I or Mathematics I that is aligned to the content standards adopted by the state board pursuant to Sections 60605.8 and 60605.11”.
- Q. Can a Computer Science course count as a mathematics course for the graduation requirement?
A. Under EC Section 51225.35, if the governing board of a school district requires more than two courses in mathematics for graduation, the governing board of the school district may award a pupil up to one mathematics course credit for successful completion of a “category C” approved computer science course. As used here, “category C” refers to the “A-G” admission requirements for the California State University and the University of California.