As a parent and citizen, I am concerned about our future as a state and a nation. Our future depends on our next generation, and it seems we are failing them in several ways. One of them is declining academic standards in the new math framework being finalized by the state.
Our students are behind other nations in math, low-income and minority students even more so. Instead of providing teachers more training and tools to bring students to meet and exceed standards, the standards are being lowered. This will handicap ALL children as they try to meet the challenges of an ever-competitive global marketplace. It will take algebra out of middle school and delay advanced math topics until late in high school to the point that calculus will be nearly inaccessible. This will make students even less prepared for college and careers in STEM fields. The approach claims to help reduce disparity in math knowledge. However, it is based on flawed data from San Francisco schools and misinterpretation of successful interventions in other schools. The math framework holds back kids who may have more of an interest and ability in math. It does nothing to help those struggling to come up to standard.
As Nancy Pelosi rightfully says, “Don’t agonize, organize.” If you are a parent, grandparent, or concerned citizen who has a stake in the future of this nation, it is time to act. Call and write to your local school board, write to your state and federal representatives to prioritize ways in which we lift everyone up, not hold everyone back. You can also get more information and sign an open letter to the California Department of Education at www.savemath.net/open-letter.