In a comment in the previous post, Darren says:
I find the Algebra 2 standards to be fairly "aggressive", like drinking water from a fire hose. How you find time to add in topics that are not in the standards, I don't know but would be most interested in learning.
(I think it is worth starting a new post to answer this... I'm interested, as always, to hear people's thoughts.)
Well, you're right. We are not able to adequately cover all the standards as they are written, especially since our students start so far behind the curve. What we've done is to strand out the standards over the 4 years. We leave some things out of Algebra 1, and push them into Algebra 2. Some of the Algebra 2 standards we then move into Pre-Calc. And some, we decide not to do at all.
When deciding what to cover (and in what depth) in Algebra 2 Honors, I look not just at the list of state standards, but at the blueprint for the standardized test (i.e. what are the key standards that comprise the bulk of the test), at what will be covered in Geometry and Pre-Calc, and at what will be most useful for students moving in a trajectory toward Calculus.
I know we can't do it all, so my goal is to balance the required coverage with a strong scaffolding for success in Calculus - all with an eye to who our target student is.
For example, though I think conic sections is a great topic, a thorough unit would take my students many lessons to master - yet there is only one single question on the test. So we leave it for Pre-Calc.
The same is true for combinations, permutations, probability and stats, mathematical induction, series - all together these topics comprise just about 20% of the test. I choose to focus on the rest, and go deeper by including relevant scaffolding, math analysis components, word problems, and so forth.
With our students, I believe this actually yields higher test scores than covering everything more shallowly would.
There is discussion of this going on at Darren's site if you are interested.