In the 21st century, a deep understanding of mathematics, and the ability to apply that understanding, is more important than it has ever been. In Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and across the country, mathematics instruction is changing to make sure we provide our students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in college and the workplace. Students in the MCPS Mathematics program develop a deep understanding of mathematics by building a strong foundation of number sense at the elementary level before moving to more advanced content. MCPS believes that the course options available to students will prepare them for success in college and careers. Students who are successful in the grade level content will be able to reach Algebra 1 by Grade 8 and an Advanced Placement course, such as AP Calculus, in high school. New minimum qualifications for admission to University of Maryland colleges and universities include completion of Algebra 2 or a significant mathematics course with advanced content during senior year. The College and Career Readiness Act of 2013 established the statutory language found in Maryland Education Code Annotated 7-205.1. This statute established that "Beginning with students entering the 9th grade class of school year 2014-2015, each student shall enroll in a mathematics course in each year of high school that the student attends, up to a maximum of 4 years of attendance, unless in the 5th or 6th year a mathematics course is needed to meet a graduation requirement."
Four credits in mathematics, including 1 credit in algebra and 1 credit in geometry are required for graduation. MSDE further specifies that students must earn credits in mathematics courses, including one with instruction in algebra aligned with the MHSA for algebra or one or more credits in subsequent mathematics courses for which Algebra I is a prerequisite; and one with instruction in geometry aligned with the content standards of geometry. Therefore, students taking advanced high school mathematics courses may satisfy the requirement for courses with algebra or geometry content. However, they must still enroll in a mathematics-based course for each year they attend high school, up to a maximum of four years of attendance, unless in the fifth or sixth year a mathematics course is needed to meet a graduation requirement. This is required by MSDE, as well as by many colleges and universities to which MCPS students may want to apply. Students are advised to consult with their academic advisors/counselors to ensure they meet all mathematics graduation requirements, and to examine carefully any additional admission requirements that may be in effect at a prospective post secondary school of interest.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Mathematics Courses
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