This article sounds or reads like the same old problem: http://news.yahoo.com/algebra-unnecessary-stumbling-block-us-schools-170616735.html [Broken] Why should that be? Students fail algebra 1 either because of lack of effort, lack of motivation, or, if for any student the course is difficult, the need for just more time or repetition of the course. Contrary to how some students found, algebra 1 was both difficult AND helpful. Took it ONE TIME to pass it, but repeated study ( as occurred upon continuing to other algebra courses), some of it on my own, was what helpted me to understand some of the more difficult parts of the course. My belief about Algebra 1 is that you do not need to be smart - you just need to work hard; and the results will happen (successful results).