Thank you to all the people who provided feedback. I’m sorry I didn’t respond in a timely fashion – I got bit by my own feed problems.
A couple of answers – I’m in charge because (a) I’m the department chair, and (b) the principal asked me to. I’m not doing this on my own, but the other teachers have even less of an idea on how to develop this than I do.
It’s going to be an auxiliary class, rather than a replacement class. Dan Green Numeracy Course looks exactly like what we’re shooting for, except there will probably be 3 levels for grades 6-8, rather than just algebra.
We are already seriously looking into using singapore math for this. Fortunately for us, it’s an approved curriculum in LAUSD.
The idea is that the sooner we start getting kids closer to grade level, the less ground they have to make up later on.