The teaching of algebra in most of today’s classrooms is not significantly different from what it was 50 years ago. Certainly, there have been some attempts to change algebra instruction, such as the "new math" reform movement of the 1960s. But the changes that persist in today’s algebra curricula, as a result of that movement, are more superficial than substantial.
Algebra I is one of the most critical courses that students take in high school. Not only does it introduce them to a powerful reasoning tool with applications in many different careers, but algebra is the gateway to higher education. Students who do well in algebra are better prepared for college entrance exams and for college in general, since algebra teaches them how to solve problems and think abstractly—skills that pay off no matter what major they pursue.