State Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell says the state will need to double the number of eighth grade math teachers and decrease class sizes to meet the new standard. Eighth graders will be required to take algebra – and pass a proficiency test - in three years. And O’Connell says it’ll cost about three billion dollars.
“It’s a significant shift when you change a state policy from a goal to a mandate and with a mandate comes additional requirements and with those requirements come additional costs.”
O’Connell is complying with the mandate grudgingly. He’s aggravated with Governor Schwarzenegger for recommending the reform to the State School Board at the last minute – and against his wishes. O’Connell says the money could be better spent on other things, like pre-school or class size reduction in elementary school. In a statement, the Governor said he looked forward to determining the best way to implement the new standard.