college-level work, algebra before high school
In Arkansas, students graduate from high school at a relatively high rate – 72% versus the national rate of 69%. However, according to the ACT, only 35% of Arkansas graduates are ready for college-level work (based on Arkansas’ College Readiness Benchmark Scores). Our state's rate of completion from college also ranks below the national average (See Table 3.5 in OEP’s report card here). There is a strong correlation between the successful completion of an algebra course and readiness for college-level work. Because of this, there has been a great deal of interest recently in the question of whether educators in Arkansas should require all of our students to take an algebra course early in their high school career, or even in junior high.
Jensen, Nathan C. and Ritter, Gary W., "Algebra for All?" (2010). Policy Briefs. 72.