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Core content made up about two-thirds of graduates' algebra I and geometry courses. 


About two-thirds of an algebra I course consisted of algebra topics.

  • In algebra I courses taken by high school graduates, about 65 percent of the material covered, on average, was devoted to algebra topics (figure 1). About 35 percent of the material focused on elementary and middle school mathematics, geometry, and other high school mathematics topics typically taught in later mathematics courses.

       FIGURE 1: Percentage of content of graduates' algebra I courses, by curriculum topic group: 2005 Image of Figure 1, click on accessible link below to see data in a tabular format.


NOTE: Details may not sum to total because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), Mathematics Curriculum Study, 2005.

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Students who took rigorous courses had less review material than graduates who took beginner or intermediate courses.

  • About 17 percent of the course content of graduates' beginner algebra I courses focused on elementary and middle school mathematics topics, compared to 10 percent for graduates who took rigorous algebra I courses (figure 2). 
  • For graduates who took rigorous algebra I courses about 16 percent of the course content was other high school mathematics topics that are generally taught in higher-level courses, compared to 6 percent for graduates in beginner algebra I courses. 

    FIGURE 2. Percentage of content in graduates’ algebra I courses, by course level and curriculum topic group: 2005 

 Image of Figure 2, click on accessible link below to see data in a tabular format.

(Accessible Version)

* Significantly different (p < .05) from rigorous.
NOTE: Details may not sum to total because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), Mathematics Curriculum Study, 2005.

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Geometry topics made up two-thirds of the content of geometry courses.
  • On average, about 66 percent of the material covered in geometry courses taken by high school graduates focused on geometry topics (figure 3). About 34 percent covered elementary and middle school mathematics, algebra, and other high school mathematics topics.

    FIGURE 3. Percentage of content of graduates’ geometry courses, by courses, by curriculum topic group: 2005

Image of Figure 3, click on accessible link below to see data in a tabular format.

(Accessible Version)

NOTE: Details may not sum to total because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), Mathematics Curriculum Study, 2005.

Graduates’ beginner geometry courses contained more review content; rigorous courses had more geometric content.

  • About 14 percent of the course content of graduates’ beginner geometry courses covered elementary and middle school topics, compared to 11 percent for graduates who took rigorous geometry courses (figure 4).
  • For graduates who took rigorous geometry courses, 8 percent of their course content was other high school mathematics topics that are generally taught in higher level courses, compared to 11 percent for graduates who took beginner geometry courses.

    FIGURE 4. Percentage of content in graduates’ geometry courses, by course level and curriculum topic group: 2005

 Image of Figure 4, click on accessible link below to see data in tabular format.

* Significantly different (p < .05) from rigorous.
NOTE: Details may not sum to total because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, High School Transcript Study (HSTS), Mathematics Curriculum Study, 2005.

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Last updated 11 March 2013 (MS)
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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education