Wednesday, July 30, 2014

State BOE Issues Opinion in Elem. Accelerated Math Appeal, Tells MCPS Parent Go to Circuit Court for MPIA and to DOE for FERPA Complaints


  1. The saddest part of this entire lawsuit is that a parent is fighting for a child to go into the compacted curriculum because they believe the on-level C2.0 is not challenging. Not surprising, since our teachers are only now beginning to get the hang of it in the earlier grades where it was rolled out three years ago. The reality is that we need to ensure we have a curriculum for EVERY child. Our gifted education should be targeted for the truly gifted children in our schools (a small segment of our population). Our general education needs to stretch so that it can span the spectrum of abilities and types of learning styles and reach every child. The child in this lawsuit should be able to go to school and not be bored regardless of whatever class he/she's assigned. That, of course, requires highly skilled teachers. Let's hope he has them in his/her class next year.

  2. Not to worry, pouring more dollars into the solution formula will kick the bucket farther down the road.

  3. When my younger child was in 2nd grade, she was doing quite well in math, but the third grade math pretty much laid her low, even though math is her "thing."

    Under the old curriculum, she would likely have been an easy candidate for the compacted math, and we looked forward to 4th grade when she could move at a faster pace in that class. Then third grade happened; given the developmental inappropriateness of the third-grade math curriculum - with more algebra than the 12YO had in Math 7 until mid-year! - I don't see any point in the compacted class. According to her grades, she was proficient - only barely so, if the worksheet grades are any indication - but hardly advanced (even though that would have shown as "P" anyway). She was moved back and forth among math groups willy-nilly and one day she exasperatedly told me that her math group was lower than her reading group - and she was acutely aware that reading was her "weaker" subject - even though not long before (and again not long after) she was reportedly in the highest, and sometimes the second-highest, math groups.

    The implementation of Curriculum 2.0 has been a disaster for her, plain and simple. While I'd love for her to have the opportunity to take a math class that matches her ability, I don't know if Curriculum 2.0 has such a class, and furthermore, I don't think that the teachers have enough comfort with the new curriculum yet to know for sure. I don't think it's a matter of bad teachers, but of a bad curriculum based on inappropriate standards, and I think our kids will be paying the price for years to come. As it is, it has taken most of the summer to get my confident bubbly kid back - the one who disappeared around October last year and only occasionally came out to visit us. Still debating how we want to handle this situation here as the youngest begins 4th grade, because third grade was nothing short of horrible for her and for us. Fourth grade WAS one we looked forward to under the old curriculum; now there's nothing but anxiousness, a sort of wondering "what fresh hell" might be headed our way this year. If the compacted math class was rolled out with the same (lack of) care and preparation as the regular Curriculum 2.0, I frankly want no more to do with it than with the current curriculum. This family might want to be careful what it wishes for.

  4. Many children excel prior to 3rd grade, then children level out in 4th and 5th grade, no matter what the content/curriculum.

    This is why some advanced level courses get watered down. Then the courses become like the general ed classes because the teacher is spending so much time trying to support the students who do not perform well. This student would only delay the more advanced students because he does not perform well in school. It's certainly not all "boredom" as admitted by the child.

    Everyone wants their child with the accelerated students. That's one of the challenges with ability grouping. No one wants to feel like their child is "left behind" and not receiving the highest level of instruction.

  5. This is absurd. Why do we have to fight with the administration like they are the enemy? It's almost ironic, if it wasn't so sad, that this struggle is occurring on the 100th anniversary of the start of world war 1. Can't we just let the administrators, and BOE, go away and continue to pat themselves on the back for a job well done and not have any input into how are children are educated anymore? They can take their promethian boards and their chrome books and their curriculum 2.0 and please just leave the teachers and the chalk boards and libraries.

    I would even throw in the TI-84+ calculators I was required to buy for my kids against my better judgement. They shouldn't use calculators until they understand HOW math works and they can see it.

    I wish you luck in the pursuit of an education for your son. This year is lost as MCPS are masters at delay and obfuscation. Aim for IM in 6th grade, if they still offer it. This class did wonders for my two that have had it so far.


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