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Old 05-03-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,016,057 times
Reputation: 6824

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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
If the student is going to make it to the higher levels of academia, undergraduate institution will not be nearly as important as graduate school. I used to manage an apartment building full of Berkeley students. They told me that Berkeley is a great graduate school, but it's undergraduate classes were taught by TAs or Professors that only taught undergraduates because they had to. The real stuff didn't even begin until graduate school.
Managing an apartment full of students hardly qualifies one to judge the quality of the school. I went there and can tell you that what you're saying about TA taught courses might be true of lower division 100 level courses but once you reach the upper division in a major you're in a much smaller classroom setting with a full professor who is often top notch in her/his field of study. Most would spend additional time with you during office hours as well which offered an education in itself. I went on to graduate school and did not notice any better level of instruction than was offered in my upper division courses at Cal. Make no mistake, it is a great school and well worth whatever effort is required to get in. Not too many kids around here apply there though.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:54 PM
 
97 posts, read 281,394 times
Reputation: 48
I'd sign her up for algebra in 8th grade. If her 7th grade SOL results are not good, you can change your mind. But it sounds like she's doing well in grade-level math and will be able to handle algebra next year.

Will she be okay and have a decent future if she doesn't take algebra next year? Absolutely. If she is struggling to keep up with grade level work (which it doesn't sound like she is...), then by all means wait until 9th grade for algebra and give her abstract thinking an extra year to develop. In that case, better to wait.

But from what you're saying, she is right on track and most kids who pass their SOLs advanced can handle algebra in 8th grade.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Beautiful beaches of Florida!
207 posts, read 659,303 times
Reputation: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megadell View Post
I don't think they care about what they took in middle. Just what they took in hs. If algebra in middle let's them take a higher math in high school, that's what matters IMO.
This isnt true. Students taking advanced math classes in middle school acquire HS credit which is why many kids start HS with their GPA well above 4.0.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:07 AM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,118,809 times
Reputation: 1264
Algebra in 8th grade isn't that big a deal. Have her take it. If she waits until 9th grade she will be in a class with kids who are generally on the bottom, because the vast majority of kids take algebra in 8th grade,
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,170,789 times
Reputation: 839
Dear god.....I am 36 years old....things have changed this much? I guess I'd be in the bottom.... I excelled in English and lettered in Debate but math....just something about it that vexed me.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,831,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
Algebra in 8th grade isn't that big a deal. Have her take it. If she waits until 9th grade she will be in a class with kids who are generally on the bottom, because the vast majority of kids take algebra in 8th grade,
I agree with this. I think you're doing your child a favor to keep them in classes with the other top students unless it just seems way too much for them. Kids can be so influenced by what the other kids around them think is normal (not to mention "cool.")

I don't think that every single kid in the entire school needs to be a high achiever (in fact, I think many kids benefit from being in a more diverse school and having friends who are not into academics as well as academic friends). However, I do think it helps your child to take the classes that the other high achievement students are taking.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,831,493 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonter16 View Post
Dear god.....I am 36 years old....things have changed this much?
To be honest, I think they have. When you were graduating, a liberal arts degree could still get you a solid career. You could skate through a lot of college degrees without needing much math and end up in an artsy job that paid well or even in a corporate position. I was an English major who easily landed jobs in publishing and editing. No math needed back then--we didn't even have computers at my first job. Someone graduating today is not going to have the easy job search I had.

Times have changed. The artsy jobs are a lot harder to find. Some aren't around, some aren't hiring anymore. Meanwhile, many corporations are now valuing majors that require math.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:50 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,000,764 times
Reputation: 541
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Moderator Cut
VaTech selective? In what universe? They say they are but they're about as selective as UMD. I have kids from MD go there every year with 3.0s and no AP classes. Two this year.

I think it really depends on what the student excels in...

YES, math is important to get into schools these days, but admissions reps consider extracurriculars and grades in other subjects such as foreign language, history and english, etc., if students are going for more liberal arts or international majors. All schools are using more selective criteria BUT...

It's not so much the overall selectivity of the school as it is the selectivity of the program, in some cases. UVA lets in kids with 3.0s (my cousin got in last year with a 3.4 sooooo does that make it less selective?) A lot goes into the selection process. It depends on how many kids from a certain region apply (my cousin is in Ashland, VA), background, legacy, etc. I've worked with kids with 4.0s who didn't get into Va Tech or Old Dominion, so I don't know what the poster above me is talking about.

OP, if your daughter has the chance to take algebra in 8th grade, she should just take it. If she doesn't do well, she can always take it in summer school and move on. It's best to just get it over with and have time to spare if she doesn't pass it in the off-chance.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:22 AM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,088,527 times
Reputation: 6458
I know a few Virginia students who did not get into VT who had good test scores and 3.7 GPAs.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,619,006 times
Reputation: 8315
I think, like you implied, that *where* you are coming from has some impact. We've all heard about excellent students in the great schools in FCPS who don't get into UVA or Tech but similar students who come from lower-income areas of Virginia do get in. I imagine that might be the case for students from Maryland. Perhaps they don't get that many students from the NorthBeach area who apply or they like having students from there or the out-of-state tuition or perhaps these students had other ways that they distinguished themselves from their "less-than-stellar" test scores.

Disclaimer - I did not go to college in VA so I have no Virginia school bias. I'm not saying one way or the other whether VA Tech is selective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chariega View Post
etc. I've worked with kids with 4.0s who didn't get into Va Tech or Old Dominion, so I don't know what the poster above me is talking about.
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