A look at
Algebra 2 textbooks (as promised a month ago):

Dolciani
(1977)

Heath
(1998)

Pearson
(2012)

Chapter 1

Vocabulary and the Operations of Algebra (Expressions, operations,
solving 1 variable equations)

Review of Basic Algebra (Operations, Solving 1 variable equations,
inequalities, absolute value equations and inequalities)

Expressions, Equations, & Inequalities (including absolute value)

Chapter 2

Properties of Real Numbers (including compound inequalities)

Linear Equations (Graphing, slope, 2 variable inequalities, absolute
value graphs)

Functions, Equations, and Graphs (linear and absolute value)

Chapter 3

Linear Open Sentences (Graphs, slope, linear equations, systems of
equations & inequalities)

Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities

Systems of Equations and Inequalities (linear only)

Chapter 4

Functions & Polynomials (linear functions, direct variation,
multiplying and dividing polynomials, synthetic division—optional)

Matrices and Determinants

Quadratic Functions and Equations

Chapter 5

Factoring Polynomials (GCF, quadratics—factoring and solving)

Quadratic Equations and Parabolas (Solving, graphing, quadratic
formula, completing the square, complex numbers, quadratic inequalities)

Polynomials and Polynomial Functions (including the fundamental
theorem of algebra, remainder theorem, rational root theorem)

Chapter 6

Rational Expressions

Functions (Operations, inverse functions, transformations of function
graphs, recursive functions)

Radical Exponents and Rational Functions

Chapter 7

Radicals and Irrational Numbers

Powers, Roots, and Radicals

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Chapter 8

Quadratic Equations and Functions (Solving, complex numbers,
quadratic formula)

Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Rational Functions

Chapter 9

Quadratic Relations and Systems (Distance formula—yes, I know!
Perpendicular slope, conics, solving quadratic systems)

Polynomials and Polynomial Functions (operations, division, synthetic
division, fundamental theorem of algebra, remainder theorem, rational root
theorem)

Sequences and Series

Chapter 10

Exponential Functions and Logarithms

Rational Functions

Conic Sections

Chapter 11

Sequences and series

Quadratic Relations (conics)

Probability and Statistics

Chapter 12

Permutations, Combinations, and Probability

Sequences and Series

Matrices

Chapter 13

Matrices

Trigonometric Relations and Functions

Periodic Functions and Trigonometry

Chapter 14

Trigonometry

Trigonometric Graphs, Equations, and Identities

Trigonometric Identities and Equations

Chapter 15

Trigonometric Identities and Formulas

Probability and Statistics


Chapter 16

Circular Functions and their Inverses (Radians, inverse trig
functions)

(None)


The largest
takeaway is how today’s textbooks rush ahead into more difficult concepts.
Quadratic Functions waits for a later time in the old texts while the current
textbook pushes them early and moves ahead. It is also noteworthy that in years
past, classes rarely reached the last two or three chapters in the book, which were
an advance look at the next course. It was no problem back then as there was no
standardized test to contend with and the following year, the new teacher
picked up where the old teacher had ended.
It is hard
to understand the demand of Common Core mathematics looking at these textbooks.
They cover all the topics under the Algebra 2 umbrella. You will only really
understand what has taken place when we take a look at Algebra 1 (which I will
have to do some work to report as I don’t have access to a current textbook.)
But here’s the gist: so much of Algebra 2 has been moved to Algebra 1 that most
of the year (in Florida) the students are reviewing what they were supposed to
learn earlier.