Metro Nashville Schools moves to integrated math curriculum

Algebra class soon will be a thing of the past in Nashville — sort of.

Beginning next school year, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools will start to replace the traditional high school math subjects of Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 with three levels of “integrated math,” district officials announced Wednesday.

Under integrated math pathways, students learn a blend of concepts that are intended to help students make connections across the fields and gradually deepen their understanding and skills.

“Rather than teaching in silos where mathematical concepts are separated into subjects like algebra and geometry, integrated math builds a progression of skills and concepts from across subjects over the course of three years,” the news release stated.

District officials believe the time is right to switch because the Common Core standards, which Tennessee uses for math and English, are now fully implemented, new statewide assessments will be rolled out next year, and the district is adopting new math textbooks.

The Common Core State Standards allow for both traditional and integrated math courses, as does the Tennessee Department of Education. Putnam, Bradley, Warren and Cheatham counties are among districts that have made the change.

Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Utah and West Virginia use integrated math statewide. The switch has not always gone smoothly, and parents and teachers in some states and districts have pushed back, citing a lack of teacher training for the new curriculum and concern that a non-traditional approach will leave students unprepared for college math.

Have you taught in a school that uses or used integrated math? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.