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    #248726 - 04/23/21 04:58 AM Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2630
    Loc: MA
    I hope this change does not occur.

    link
    Virginia moving to eliminate all accelerated math courses before 11th grade as part of equity-focused plan. State says framework includes 'differentiated instruction' catered to the needs of the child
    By Sam Dorman
    Fox News
    April 22, 2021

    The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.

    Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin posted about the change via Facebook on Tuesday. According to Serotkin, he learned of the change the night prior during a briefing from staff on the Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative (VMPI).

    "[A]s currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade," he said. "That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this. All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7. All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10. Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses."

    His post included a chart with what appeared to be set math courses for 2022-2030.

    VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle indicated to Fox News that the courses would allow for at least some variation depending on students' skill level. "Differentiated instruction means providing instruction that is catered to the learning needs of each child (appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor)," Pyle said.

    ...

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    #248729 - 04/23/21 06:07 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    Thought-provoking quote from the NCSM Detracking white paper cited by VDOE:

    "Those that have been privileged by the current system must be willing to give up that privilege for more equitable schooling."
    _________________________
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    #248730 - 04/23/21 06:27 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    It appears that the current (2020 publications) movement in math education, as documented on position papers from NCSM and NCTM, emphasizes equity or social justice, and expressly sets as an objective eliminating ability grouping prior to 11th grade.

    https://www.nctm.org/change/ (2020)
    https://www.mathedleadership.org/docs/resources/positionpapers/NCSMPositionPaper19.pdf (2020)
    https://www.todos-math.org/assets/docs2016/2016Enews/3.pospaper16_wtodos_8pp.pdf (2016)

    On a bit of an off note, one of the documents contrasts White and Asian-American students with "students of color". I am pretty sure that most Asian-Americans would not describe their holistic experience as that of White privilege, especially over the past year.

    "Tracking is a form of de facto segregation as students in higher tracks have historically been predominantly White or Asian American from affluent families, whereas students in lower tracks have been primarily students of color and students who are economically disadvantaged." -- NCSM
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    #248731 - 04/23/21 08:41 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: aeh]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2630
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    "Tracking is a form of de facto segregation as students in higher tracks have historically been predominantly White or Asian American from affluent families, whereas students in lower tracks have been primarily students of color and students who are economically disadvantaged." -- NCSM

    Children can learn math outside of public school. My three children have attended Russian School of Math. They also attended math classes at a Saturday school run by Chinese-American parents. A good fraction of Chinese-American fathers have advanced math skills. Educational bureaucrats who are effectively trying to suppress the academic achievement of Whites and Asians will meet with various responses.

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    #248732 - 04/23/21 10:05 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Children can learn math outside of public school.


    Children can learn anything outside school. Presumably taxpayers would like their children to actually learn in school, as is the stated goal of public education.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #248733 - 04/23/21 11:11 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    And critically, it seems likely that this will have disparate impact on access to appropriate instruction particularly for highly capable learners from disadvantaged homes, who will not be as well resourced to learn math outside of public school.

    Thus amplifying disproportionality, rather than reducing it.

    Not feeding a child's strengths has long-lasting, often irremediable effects. I am still haunted by the student I had many years ago who was convinced after years of (I hope) inadvertent school messaging that they were not academic, not college-bound, and really only good enough for minimally-skilled labor. The revelation in tenth grade that this severely dyslexic young person was also in the 99th %ile for math (even after lack of access to any advanced work for all of elementary and middle school) propelled the school-based team to pour resources into opening up new possibilities for them, but sadly, came too late to convince the student personally.
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    #248734 - 04/23/21 11:44 AM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2496
    aeh, thank you for that. I think it's helpful that you shared an anonymized case, because it restores the human dimension to the debate. That is truly an upsetting story.

    As a general note for the group, it's easy to get bogged down in labels and factions. At the end of the day, this isn't an us-against-them story. These are students -- all of equal value in the eyes of the law -- not categories, packages, or numbers. They're fellow humans, each with innate dignity and the right to learn. How they are treated, and what they are exposed to in school (or, in this discussion about math, not exposed to) will materially influence their direction in life.

    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #248735 - 04/23/21 03:24 PM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 120
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian

    Children can learn math outside of public school. My three children have attended Russian School of Math. They also attended math classes at a Saturday school run by Chinese-American parents. A good fraction of Chinese-American fathers have advanced math skills. Educational bureaucrats who are effectively trying to suppress the academic achievement of Whites and Asians will meet with various responses.


    If this policy only applies to public schools, then it will widen the equity gap. Those who can afford private schools will still be able to advance, whilst the gifted but financially poor will suffer. If this understanding is correct, this policy is absolutely appalling.

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    #248736 - 04/23/21 04:09 PM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Bostonian]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 120
    Loc: Australia
    I suspect the authors of these policies are senior administrators who send their kids to private schools and will indirectly benefit through handicapping their competitors.

    Just to provide personal context, Iím in a different country, have the financial means to send my kids to the top private schools, have supported them in their decisions to decline selective school offers and we make donations to our local school, which my kids attend, where we see relatively modest sums make huge differences to large cohorts. The school now reaps the benefits of having allowed my son to self direct his learning in junior grades as he essentially co-teaches all his STEM classes now that he is in senior grades, because his understanding of concepts is often more robust than his teachersí (a fact that several freely admit). If such a policy were introduced here, we may have no choice but to move our kids (or homeschool them as I would not want to support other institutions benefiting from such a policy).

    I am outraged for the affected citizens of Virginia.

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    #248737 - 04/23/21 04:43 PM Re: Virginia eliminating accelerated math before 11th [Re: Eagle Mum]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    Unfortunately, this is likely just the first ripples of another wave of ed reform in math across large swathes of the USA, not just one state, since these policy positions emerge from the major organizations in K-12 math education.

    For context, I should note that there have been alternating rounds of ability grouping and detracking occurring at semi-regular periods over several decades, and while I think this is a bad idea, and likely harmful to the most disadvantaged children subject to it while it holds sway, I also suspect that it will end up as a passing fad, just like it has all the previous times.

    What is more unfortunate is that the response to deeply-imbedded societal inequities is to lower the ceiling on the highest-performing, rather than pouring additional supports into bringing the least-resourced students up early on. After all, disadvantaged high-potential learners won't be exposed to any higher-quality instruction or more advanced opportunities by this proposed system, which would make it difficult for them to reach the higher-performing levels that this is supposed to facilitate.

    Even the position papers acknowledge that the real problem with tracking/laning/ability grouping is how it is executed, and the overlay of bias and inflexibility that often enters into the selection process and the education of those placed in lower lanes.

    Quote:
    students might be placed into these tracks based on questionable methods using grades and placement exams, perceived ability through teacher recommendation, or non-academic expectations adults have for the students
    -- NCSM Position Paper 19


    Edited by aeh (04/23/21 04:46 PM)
    Edit Reason: added quote
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