I don't know whether 'standardized' or 'peer-referenced' tests would do the trick to prevent failure at Algebra2.
Considering that you didn't read the blog, or even the title of the blog, I guess you're off the hook for not understanding my statement. The article was about the increase in students successfully taking Algebra 2 while the NAEP scores show a very significant decline. In other words, saying that you took Algebra 2 in school means nothing any more. We need real tests to fix that. Yes, most of the students will fail, but we need to know that.
I like this...
"So, what's going on here? Loveless said it's impossible to say for sure. He suggests it may well be a result of more low-performing students taking the course in 2012 than in prior years. It could also be that today's Algebra 2 textbooks are of lower quality, or that Algebra 2 teachers are not as effective as they once were."
It isn't impossible to say for sure. It started with grade inflation which has over the last 10 years at many schools turned into total and complete grade failure. It is pure and simple... fraud. The states mandate that everyone must take and pass algebra 2 and the schools make it so, by lying, to the student. What baffles me most about the author's comments is that he seems oblivious to the reality that for the majority of students algebra 2 is too hard, period. It isn't about textbooks or teachers being less effective than they used to be. It is about more students taking algebra 2.
We have had years (decades maybe) of large numbers of students showing up to college, having earned high grades in high school, only to fail the entire battery of college placement exams that most of us here would consider mild in difficulty. Why can't high schools be honest with the public and their students anymore?