Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks California’s general math tests are too weak for the state’s eighth-graders.

Today, the state board of education is expected to approve a change in the eighth-grade general math tests, which, until now, have measured sixth- and seventh-grade skills. But Schwarzenegger wants the state board to drop the general math exam altogether and require all eighth-graders to take the Algebra 1 exam instead.

In 2007, about half of Oakland’s eighth-grade students took the Algebra I STAR test, slightly above the statewide average. About 36 percent took the General Math exam. Six percent took geometry (Not sure about the other 6 percent).

In a letter dated yesterday, Schwarzenegger writes:

The State Board must choose whether we align the eighth-grade mathematics test with our high expectations or perpetuate a two-track system: one for high achievers and one for those of whom we expect less. This fork in the road is a choice between California’s bold future and a status quo that is safe, mediocre and unacceptable.

And, this morning, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed wrote a letter with the same request.

It seems unlikely that the board will reverse course and drop the general math exam entirely, but do you think Schwarzenegger has a point?

image from herzeleyd’s Web site at flickr.com/creativecommons