Saxon Algebra 1, 4th Edition

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This new 4th edition was not published by John Saxon. It was published by HMH, who purchased Saxon. For more information, please read the article below.

The 4th editions of Saxon Algebra 1 and 2 were not published by John Saxon. They were published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who purchased Saxon Publishers in 2004. These editions are very different from the previous editions written by John Saxon (see the article below). One of the most damaging changes is all the geometry has been removed and placed in a new, Saxon Geometry text. The remaining lessons appear disorganized and confusing. These new editions will not develop the fluency required to excel on college entrance exams. Therefore, Dr. Shormann will not create DIVE video lectures for either of these new editions.


Instead, he has published a new curriculum, Shormann Interactive Math. Based on John Saxon's original teaching methods and enhanced by 21st Century technology, this new curriculum not only prepares students for upper level math courses, they prepare them to excel on the ACT, the new PSAT and SAT, as well as the CLEP College Algebra exam. Read more about Shormann Math at the link above.


Following is an article from the DIVE catalog that has more details on the HMH editions.





In 1996, after building Saxon Publishers into a


$60 million company, John Saxon passed away


unexpectedly. Several years later, the company was


sold to Harcourt Achieve, which was then purchased


by Houghton Mifflin. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


(HMH), owned by an Irish company (Riverdeep),


began revising the Saxon Math texts and released


new Saxon Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry texts. But are


these new editions worthy of the Saxon name? Or


do they go against the very principles on which John


founded Saxon Publishers?


John Saxon was an Air Force


test pilot with three engineering


degrees. After retiring, he began


teaching algebra at the local junior


college. Appalled at the skills his


students possessed, Saxon began


writing lessons to bring his students


up to speed. His “incremental


method with continual review”


produced great results. In 1981


he published his first high school


algebra book. When he died in


1996, Saxon Publishers annual sales were $27 million.


Math is the language of science. Just like learning a


language, the original Saxon curriculum begins with


the fundamentals and provides students ample time


to practice these before gently introducing more


advanced material. John Saxon created a unique


system of incremental development (small bite-sized


lessons), continual review and assessment, and the


integration of geometry and algebra. Researchers


have found






methods increase long-term retention and fluency,


thereby improving standardized test scores. More


importantly, students are able to use these skills and


creatively apply them to solve real-world problems.


The new editions published by HMH significantly


reduced the amount of review over previously


learned concepts. The lessons do no not make the


proper connections between the


incremental concepts, making the


lessons appear disorganized and




The most disappointing change


found in the new editions is that John


Saxon’s systematic integration of


algebra and geometry is essentially


gone. The European and Asian


countries that consistently


outperform the United States


on international math exams


integrate the teaching of algebra and geometry.


A student who is learning algebra and geometry


together will understand all math better , enabling


them to apply math in science and engineering fields.


While new Common Core standards offer an


“integrated pathway” similar to Saxon’s methods, they


fail to fully grasp the importance of “incremental


development with continual review.” For example, in


the new Saxon Geometry, algebra problems simply


appear in the homework, with no explanation!






Since Saxon Publishers was first sold in 2004, I’ve feared that any new Saxon editions might lose


their original methodology that strives to teach mathematics like the language of science, which


is the best way to build math fluency. I have often prayed that if that happens, Lord willing, I would


be able to stand on the shoulders of giants like John Saxon, Leonard Euler, Isaac Newton, Euclid,


and others to build an even better math curriculum. The new Saxon-in-name-only editions were


confirmation that it was time to get started. Read about Shormann Math on page 4.



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