We have difficulty with students taking algebra 1 in middle school (gr 6-8) because it does not apply toward our district's three year requirement for high school mathematics. A student who takes algebra 1 in middle school and then geometry in our 9th grade (HS) then takes algebra II in 10th grade and must take math analysis in 11th grade. If they reach the algebra II level in 10th grade and feel they can't go further, where can they go? We are a small district and have no other alternatives available except accounting. Another complaint in offering algebra in middle school is that the same course is more difficult in high school. So is there equivalency? Are they prepared for our geometry course? We are using the CPM change from within materials (California), and our geometry course makes heavy use of algebra. Geometry students who barely made it through algebra 1 have a lot of difficulty in geometry. We have come to the conclusion that we would prefer our students to have very strong algebra skills before going any further in mathematics. Hence the desirability of students taking pre-algebra or extending algebra 1 over a 2 year period. This all presumes that we want to make algebra the "gatekeeper to high school mathematics" - which is where our district stands at this time. Any suggestions, comments?