The Federalist is reporting today that the Commonwealth of Virginia is revamping its school curriculum to improve equity in education. Notice the word ‘equity’ instead of ‘equality.’
The article reports:
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is eliminating accelerated math courses before 11th grade to “[i]mprove equity in mathematics learning opportunities.”
Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin announced Tuesday that the “Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI),” is a “a sweeping initiative by the Virginia Department of Education to revamp the K-12 math curriculum statewide over the next few years” by “eliminat[ing] ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade.”
“That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this” Serotkin wrote. “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.”
The VDOE website says that in addition to improving equity, the change will “[e]mpower students to be active participants in a quantitative world.”
However, a Loudon parent told Fox News Thursday that the initiative would actually “lower standards for all students in the name of equity.”
“These changes will have a profound impact on students who excel in STEM-related curriculum, weakening our country’s ability to compete in a global marketplace for years to come,” the parent said.
VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle told Fox News the VMPI would “support increased differentiated learning opportunities within a heterogeneous learning environment.”
Delegate candidate for Virginia’s 50th House District, Mike Allers, told The Federalist that VDOE “didn’t level the playing field —they destroyed it.”
It’s time to remember that all children are not academically equal and denying accelerated classes to students who can handle them will not make slower students smarter. It will simply make smarter students frustrated and possibly cause them to lose interest. This is a really bad idea.
As the mother of three very different students (obviously all grown-up now), I am really upset by this thinking. One of my children has an art degree, one is an electrical engineer, and one is a lawyer. The electrical engineer took accelerated math and science throughout high school. Without those courses, she would have been bored to tears. If you had put the lawyer in any one of those accelerated math or science courses, she would have been thoroughly discouraged. The daughter with the art degree always got “A’s” in art courses and any math she could draw. They were three totally different kinds of students. Holding one back would not have helped the others. Putting a child in an accelerated class in a subject that is not his strength is also not helpful. One size does not fit all, and the Commonwealth of Virginia is making a serious mistake here if it wants its students to be competitive with students in other areas of the nation.