8th Grade Math Credit Detrimental to High School Credits

Laura Popescu, Staff Writer

Centennial Middle School offers the opportunity for their eighth grade students in advanced math to take Algebra 1 before entering high school, therefore earning an early math credit. For both the honors and CHS diploma, the total math requirements needed to graduate senior year is four credits, which more than half of Centennial students achieve their junior year.

Usually this would be seen as a perfect opportunity for eighth graders to challenge themselves while earning high school credits, however because of that, most students end math their third year of high school.

Fellow Calculus teacher, Ms. Dube commented, “I just don’t have many people in my classes anymore and it’s partially because students have enough credits by junior year and don’t think they need it. It’s a fun course!”

Just recently, the annual Calculus Camp took place and students who had signed up to take the AP exam early May had attended. With more than 8 hours spent taking practice tests and participating in group games, the math students studied and enjoyed their time together.

“Calculus camp was actually very fun and better than I expected. One of the best nights of my year. It’s a fun course, really. “ Explained senior, John Pomerening.

Calculus is deemed one of the highest math courses allowed at Centennial, meaning upperclassmen [seniors] make up the majority of the classes. Up until Financial Math became a course, seniors* would either choose Calculus, Stats or to not have a math in their senior schedule. With Financial Math being another alternative present now, the number of students in Calculus has drastically dropped.

Choosing to not take a math course senior year could arguably be detrimental to one’s transition from high school to college, regardless of course level. Granted any gap in high school could cause a loss in momentum, math would be the hardest to catch up on [unless you score slightly above average and have not had problems with math previously]. Catching up should not be on your college plans and it’s even worse to score lower on a placement test and eventually going into too easy of a math course. Why not utilize the free education you’re getting? It just doesn’t add up.

Without a doubt colleges require math credits as common core, but placement tests are utilized to make sure one is put at their proper level of math, and losing momentum from junior to freshman year of college would be difficult to do.

As someone who really enjoys math and did fairly well in class, I obviously would evoke taking math senior year, however that, too, would make me a hypocrite. I, like many who took Algebra 1 in eighth grade, chose not to take math this year which is a decision I regret. Many others chose Financial Math this year, which I’ve heard great reviews of, but enough for tangents. If you choose to pursue a STEM related study outside of high school, advanced math would be the best decision.

Whether or not the high school credit for mathematics should be offered in middle school is a fairly fragile subject, for everyone varies in opinion and everyone has their limits. However, I encourage that those who plan on attending an accredited college or university take into account that math in an inevitable core requirement and it’s very important to maintain consistency with your work to prevent from any sort of deterioration in skill.

With that being said, plan accordingly because every credit counts toward your future. The last thing anyone wants is to regret a decision and write an article trying to prevent students from making the same mistake.