Math Class Changes for California Students

First graders will get a "taste of algebra" under new rules.

Students' path through math learning is getting shuffled around in California, according to reports, with first-graders learning algebra as well as basic arithmetic -- and high school students and middle school advanced mathematicians not learning algebra at all.

Or at least not taking that old trusty "Algebra 1," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Eighth grade math will be called Math 8 -- and it'll have geometry and algebra, rather than breaking those two subjects into their own separate years of instruction.

The changes are part of a shift to learning math skills with context -- that is, learning will be appropriate for the students' age levels and will be within a "real-world" framework, with skills easily applicable to real life situations, the newspaper reported.

Parents are already leery, but San Francisco school officials issued key advice.

"Don't panic."

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