Orange County parents upset over restructuring of math course in OCPS

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Some parents have raised concerns with the Orange County School District that big changes in the math curriculum will make it harder for students to take the PSAT and pre-calculus.

Geometry is normally taught between Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 but starting this school year, the district is changing the order.

Traditionally, students take Algebra 1 and use those skills to help them in geometry, parents said. After geometry, the students normally take Algebra 2 and after that, calculus.

Now geometry is being moved after Algebra 2, which parents worry will cause major problems.

"For advanced students, I believe their education will suffer," said parent Laura Gettings. "They'll have a gap between Algebra 2 and pre-calculus."

Channel 9's Lori Brown found those taking the PSAT in ninth grade will be tested on geometry they have not learned.

Orange County Public Schools said principals came up with the idea to help 40 percent of the district's students who failed the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam, a graduation requirement.

"With the EOC being such high stakes, it really made sense to back those two courses up, so if a student fails Algebra 1, they can be remediated in Algebra 2," said chief academic officer Scott Fritz.

But school board member Rick Roach isn't happy with the change.

"It's not really a decision ingrained in what's best for kids, it's what's best for test scores and getting kids graduated," said Roach.

Fritz said advanced students will benefit, but Gettings wishes students could have a choice.

"It's an example of prioritizing a test over future educations," she said.

Students who take the PSAT in ninth grade will have the opportunity to take it again in 11th grade, the year that counts for scholarships.