Sunday, November 2, 2008

Can't Pass Algebra II to Graduate High School! Help!

VISITOR: They may not let my kid graduate because Michigan says they need Algebra II. He has Kidergarten processing and memory levels (only in math) and has 4th grade computation level. They pushed him through Geometry and Algebra I with lots of help but he nearly flunked them. He takes AP and Honors classes in all other subjects and gets A's and B's but his GPA is devistated by math E's and D's. He's had to repeat the math classes so the D's and E's get factored into the GPA over and over. This is not fair for him!!! This is his area of legitimate disability. How can they penalize him for it by letting his disability ruin his GPA? Could they fail a student in a wheel chair in Phys Ed class just because he couldn't do everything normally required of non-disabled kids? If Phys Ed were required every semester, could they wreck his GPA by giving him an E in Phys Ed every semester even though he got excellent grades in everything else?

Why has the school system allowed him to get to his Senior year without being able to make change or add time? They said there was never any time for remedial work to repair his basic skill gaps using different methods like hands-on math. What happened to No Child Left Behind? Now he does not qualify for college scholarships because his GPA is 2.7. What should we do now? He is failing Algebra II already and needs it to graduate! This is torture for him.

Here is a PowerPoint Prentation on the Michigan Law requiring Algebra II for graduation and the way to accommodate using a Personal Curriculum. It is a Michgan Department of Education presentation. See it here:
Here is a Briefing from the Mich Dept of Education on the awarding of academic credits in special circumstances:
Here is a document from Mich Dept Ed regarding the 4 Math Credits Required for HS Graduation and what to do about Algebra II. The law was passed on Sept. 18, 2008:

Since the student's placement in Algebra II is inappropriate given his math capabilities, and given that he is failing in spite of intensive support services (before school tutoring, push-in and pull-out help), we propose the following:
(1) Finish this semester of Algebra II (1B or 1A) to earn .5 Algebra II credit.
(2) Grade Algebra II on a CREDIT/NO CREDIT basis so as not to devastate his GPA and further disqualify him for scholarship opportunities.
(3) In Semester 2, count Personal Finance as a .5 credit of math, in order to make progress on basic functional math goals.
(4) Personal Finance will be taken on a CREDIT/NO CREDIT basis because it involves math and should not be figured into his GPA.
(5) Reset all math grades earned on his high school transcript to CREDIT/NO CREDIT grades so the GPA will be recalculated to fairly reflect his performance in all areas except his area of disability. This alone will greatly improve his prospects for scholarships, which he will be able to apply for immediately. Because his current GPA is devastated by a severe math disability, it disqualifies him from most scholarship opportunities; the result is a form of indirect discrimination.
(6) Student will graduate with 3 credits of math as required for the class of 2009, which will be constituted as follows: Personal Finance, .5; Algebra II-Sem 1, .5; Algebra I-Sem 1, .5; Algebra I-Sem 2, .5; Geometry-Sem 1, .5; Geometry-Sem 2, .5; Total math credits: 3.
(7) Credits taken for Math Seminars and Algebra 1 will be counted as elective credits. Algebra I- Gr.9-Sem 1, (D), .5; Math Seminar Gr.11-Sem 1, .25; Math Seminar Gr.11-Sem 2, .25; Elective math credits: 1.
The Individual Education Planning Committee/Team should carefully review the facts presented above and work to create a Personal Curriculum/Individual Education Plan that results in a high school diploma by June 2009, and which meets academic and transition needs and goals.

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