Usually, the standard and most frequently taken math sequence after Math 6 is:
- 7th grade: Common Core Math 7
- 8th grade: Common Core Math 8
- 9th grade: first-year Algebra
- 10th grade: Geometry
- 11th grade: second-year Algebra
- 12th grade: various options, such as Statistics or Pre-Calculus
There are various exceptions: for instance, I believe at one Portland high school, students take Geometry before Algebra, and many high school students take two math courses in a year, sometimes over the summer.
In middle school, some students instead take Compacted Math I and II in seventh and eighth grade. Between them, these courses cover all of the Math 7, Math 8, and first-year, high school Algebra material in two years. Students who earn Algebra credit generally take Geometry and second-year Algebra in ninth and tenth grades and further math after that.
Even for some very bright or very conscientious students, Common Core Math is a more appropriate placement than Compacted Math. With the new standards, each level of regular Common Core math has significantly more challenging content than in the past; in fact, Common Core Math 8 contains much of what used to be high school Algebra a few years ago, and each high school class now covers more advanced material as well. Compacted Math classes are fast-moving and require time commitments, academic maturity, and excellent study, classwork, attendance, and revision habits.
Placement in “regular” math class is IN NO WAY a negative statement about a student’s math achievement, ability level, or future level of mathematics study. Many middle schoolers are still building academic skills and habits that will help them achieve through high school, and many have significant commitments outside math class. Common Core Math 7 students can excel as math learners, will be challenged at about the same level as this year, and will be very well prepared for higher math in high school and college, and many of them will continue on with advanced coursework and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). We want to avoid rushing students and leaving them with a dread of math or gaps that will cause bigger problems later, when it matters more.
Our main priority is to give every middle school student a solid grounding in mathematical concepts and habits of thought.