If I was a student who had just finished a course in Algebra I in most schools across America I think that I would think that the following were the most important things that we had done. I would think this because we had spent so much of our efforts on it.

- linear equations
- distributive law
- quadratic equations
- factoring

The only way to add these topics in is to take other topics away. So what can go? Here is a partial list of topics that might be cut or reduced in the standard curriculum.

- completing the square
- conics
- rational root theorem
- long division of polynomials

## 3 comments:

You might as well ask if the numbers from 1 to 12 are so important that we only memorise multiplications involving those numbers.

Quadratics are important because a thorough understanding of them is critical to handling general polynomials, because they raise issues that don't turn up in linear systems.

I guess I was sort of lobbing a grenade here. You raise an excellent point. One thing that I feel though is that I am not sure that even polynomials are so important. I want to ask the question to make sure that we are doing things for the right reasons. Are polynomials more important than exponential functions?

Too bad you are not New York State. You would just throw the new things in without taking anything out! So easy! And then just give a final exam where only half the curriculum is tested. Except not tell people which half.

Yes, we "do" exponentials in Algebra 1. Half-assedly, of course.

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