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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673
802-496-3928
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Setting the bar high for eighth-graders

To The Editor:

 

The Washington West Supervisory Union (WWSU) administration held a math meeting last week on their plans for eighth-grade algebra. The very large turnout of current, past and future middle school parents was reflective of an array of opinions. Some were fans of the Connected Math (CMP2) program and in favor of requiring an extra year of CMP2 programming; some were not. Some were happy with the unsupervised online learning aspect; some were not.

 

The theme that was brought up most often was the need to preserve an accelerated math class for the eighth-graders. Articulate pleas were made to keep the one class devoted to accelerated learners, something that has been offered for at least a decade. The many advantages mentioned of maintaining an accelerated (CMP2) math class included:

 

  1. Fairly challenging every student to his or her own abilities.
  2. Keeping accelerated learners engaged in the math program (minimizing boredom).
  3. Giving "math nerds" a class where they are in the company of like-minded students.
  4. Allowing motivated students to shine and rise to the top of their respective math classes.
  5. Pacing the class faster could make room in the schedule for the algebra seminar, without sacrificing time from other classes.
  6. Making it easier to test the success of the seminar model. Changing the program model in concert with the way students are placed makes it difficult to assess success/failure across these multiple variables.

 

The administration will be addressing the math topic at the school board meeting on Wednesday, May 16, in the Harwood Union High School library. Parents will also be holding a meeting at the Waitsfield Elementary School at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 (tonight), to talk about rigor in the middle school math program and across the curriculum. If you are interested in this topic, please plan to attend both meetings.

 

Nancy Baron

Warren

 

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