From "Getting to know CMP" -- An Introduction to the Connected Mathematics Project

What the Traditional Curricula (Algebra 1) Include that CMP Does Not
-- Emphasis on manipulating symbolic expressions, such as multiplying and factoring polynomials.
-- Operations on algebraic fractions
-- Formal solutions of linear systems in 2 or more variables.
-- Formal study of direct and inverse variation.
-- Radicals and simplifications of radicals.
-- Operations on polynomials other than linear polynomials
-- Completion of the square and the quadratic formula

What CMP Curriculum Includes that the Traditional Curricula Do Not
-- Emphasis on variables and the representations of the relation between variables in words, numeric tables, graphs and symbolic statements.
-- Focus, on the rate of change between two variables, not only linear.
-- Development of functional point of view and applications.
-- Emphasis on modeling
-- Earlier introduction of exponential growth and decay
-- Development of alternative strategies for answering questions about algebraic expressions and equations, e.g., tables and graphing calculators