I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of the way the GPS was implemented. However, I have larger qualms with the sequencing of the topics in the middle grade mathematics curriculum.
The math curriculum was rolled out in middle school and because of this the 6th grade mathematics curriculum has, at last count, 11 units. I was told that this was done to bridge the massive gap that exists between elementary school and middle school....but I digress.
I understand the need to move some of the traditional high school topics down to the middle school level...however...wouldn't it be better if the 3 grades were broken into specific mathematics domains...giving the students a full year to master the skills that are necessary to move on.
I think 6th grade should only focus on number and operations and measurement. Doing this would allow the students that somehow made it out of elementary school without being able to perform the four arithmetic operations to strengthen those skills with fractions, decimals, integers, and all other rational numbers. 6th graders can handle exponents, squares, and square roots, etc. I know...because when I taught 6th grade last year I :squeezed" some of those topics in to see how the kids would perform.
7th grade should be a true pre-algebra experience focusing on evaluating algebraic expressions, the Pythagorean theorem, volume, area, surface area, similar figures, proportionality, and translating phrases to expressions.
8th grade should just focus on algebra and those algebra 2 concepts that have been pushed down.
Sequencing in this manner will, as I said earlier, allow the students to master the skills in a logical manner rather than hopping around from domain to domain in an effort to cover everything before the CRCT.
What say you fellow GA math teachers ?
(by the way...we can skip the data strands altogether...you get into that in stats classes later on anyway)