My school came up with a brilliant idea last year--annualizing all the students programs. This would make it much easier to program students for the spring term. What the powers that be did not take into account is that many kids pass the first term of Math A, afterall, they have been doing order of operations, signed numbers, and equation solving since elementary school. They run into major problems in the second half of the term, where the work is much more difficult. These students then fail and because of the annualization, must repeat the entire year from the beginning. They have lost an entire year. They are put in a class where they know most of the work because the hard stuff doesn't start until the spring. Often they become discipline problems or cut class. Even if they want to learn, many times they are in classes that the strongest teacher has trouble controlling. These kids are destined to fail. We need to go back to letting the students repeat the one course they fail. I used to think annualization might work in an English or history class where each topic taught is discrete and what you are learning doesn't necessarily depend on what came before. I only complained about annualization because I felt that the kids that knew nothing by January had no chance of succeeding in June. Math topics are not independant of one another. I wonder if a kid would have to repeat whole year in these subjects too? If that is the case, we must scrub this program.
This topic is especially important to me because I am teaching M&C this term. It is the third term of a four term sequence (ending in the Math A regents.) I have three students in my class that I know passed the first term and failed the second. They should go back and retake the class from the beginning, but I don't want to do this to them. I made the decison (with the help of a non math AP) to let them stay. If they pass, they will be given credit for the class they failed. I'm worried because if they fail, they will be another year behind and their graduation will be endangered. I hope I made the correct decision.