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Should all students study algebra in eighth grade? Would offering early
access to algebra to all students help close the achievement gap among
minority populations? Traditional educational policies that provide eighth
grade algebra to selected students raise questions about equitable access
to advanced opportunities for all students. Even when access appears to
be equitable throughout a school district’s population, undetected lapses
in equity may occur related to identification procedures. This study
addressed the problem of achievement gaps among underrepresented
populations by examining the study of algebra in eighth grade and its
impact on student performance, achievement, and attainment. The
purpose of this study was to explore the policy implications and potential
benefits of providing algebra instruction to all students.
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