Recent changes in Ohio law have added new information to the graduation requirements concerning “Algebra II or Its Equivalent” (section 3313.603 of the Ohio Revised Code). These include the adoption of the Ohio's New Learning Standards in Mathematics and the development of a series of end-of-course 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 Ohio's New Learning Standards in Mathematics.
In developing the standards, the writers have identified the content required for high school mathematics courses. The standards provide 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 end-of-course exams required by Ohio law. For mathematics, these will minimally consist of the PARCC end-of-course exam for mathematics. The PARCC consortium is developing a series of three end-of-course exams each for the traditional pathway and integrated pathway. The PARCC Model Content Frameworks for mathematics provides information about the high school end-of-course 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 end-of-course 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 the end-of-course exam, if it is delayed until the student’s senior year (note that districts still have local control of the course offerings).
The Ohio Core, Ohio's New Learning Standards in Mathematics, and Ohio's assessment system require educators to examine their entire preschool to Grade 12 mathematics curriculum to ensure that all students have opportunities to develop competencies in Algebra II or its equivalent.
Note: Students who begin their study of high school courses before Grade 9 should be expected to take more advanced mathematics courses, for example pre-calculus, AP Calculus or AP Statistics, in Grades 11 or 12.