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Chapter 4: Academic Preparation and Achievement

Indicator 21: Ninth-Grade Mathematics

In 2009, the percentages of 9th-graders who reported that they were enrolled in algebra and geometry were not measurably different between males and females overall or between males and females within each racial/ethnic group.

In 2009, a nationally representative sample of 9th-grade students were asked to identify the mathematics courses in which they were currently enrolled. About 10 percent of these 9th-graders reported that they were not enrolled in a mathematics course. Among those who reported they were enrolled in at least one mathematics course, 7 percent were taking prealgebra or review/remedial mathematics, 57 percent were taking algebra I, some 25 percent were taking geometry, and 11 percent were taking an advanced math course other than algebra I or geometry (e.g., algebra II, trigonometry, integrated mathematics, statistics or probability, analytic geometry, precalculus, or calculus). In general, the percentages of 9th-graders enrolled in algebra and geometry were not measurably different between males and females overall or within each racial/ethnic group. In addition, the percentages of 9th-graders who were not enrolled in any mathematics course were not measurably different by sex.

Mathematics course enrollment in the 9th grade differed across racial/ethnic groups. The percentages of 9th-graders who reported they were currently enrolled in algebra I were higher for Blacks (64 percent) and Hispanics (62 percent) than for Whites (55 percent) and Asians (29 percent). This racial/ethnic pattern was observed for male 9th-graders, and it was observed for female 9th-graders as well, with the exception that no measurable difference was seen between the percentages of White and Hispanic females enrolled in algebra I.

The percentages of 9th-graders who reported they were enrolled in geometry were higher for Asians (46 percent), Whites (26 percent), Hispanics (23 percent), and students of two or more races (23 percent) than for Blacks (15 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (10 percent). A similar racial/ethnic pattern was observed for female 9th-graders. However, among male 9th-graders, higher percentages of Asians (45 percent) and Whites (26 percent) than Hispanics (20 percent) and Blacks (14 percent) were enrolled in geometry.

The percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native (17 percent), Black (14 percent), and Hispanic (13 percent) 9th-graders who reported they were not enrolled in a mathematics course were higher than the percentages for White (8 percent) and Asian 9th-graders (7 percent). Similar patterns in the percentages of 9th-graders not enrolled in a mathematics course were also observed by sex across the Black, Hispanic, White, and Asian racial/ ethnic groups. The percentages of Black and Hispanic 9th-graders who reported they were not taking a mathematics course were also higher than the percentage of students of two or more races who were not taking a mathematics course (8 percent). This racial/ethnic pattern in the percentages of 9th-graders not taking mathematics was also observed for female students.

Technical Notes

Information on 9th-grade mathematics coursetaking was based on student report. Students could report enrollment in more than one mathematics course. Students could also report enrollment in an “other math course,” but this response category is not presented in the text.

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Figure 21-1 Among 9th-grade students who reported they were currently enrolled in a mathematics course, percentage enrolled in algebra I, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2009

Figure 21-2 Among 9th-grade students who reported they were currently enrolled in a mathematics course, percentage enrolled in geometry, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2009

Table E-21-1 Percentage of 9th-grade students who reported they were enrolled in various mathematics courses, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2009


  
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