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Letter to School Administrators Regarding Middle School Math Curriculum Changes

Letter to Reading school administration regarding middle school math curriculum changes which impact the ability to take algebra in middle school and calculus in high school.

Editor's note: The request in this letter for study sessions for students who want to try to test up a level has been denied, according to Rebecca Liberman.

I want to thank you for the informative math curriculum meeting on
Wednesday night.

However, I feel that this meeting should have happened a year ago or at
least at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. Unbeknownst to
parents, our 7th and 8th graders have been using this new curriculum all
year, and yet parents were not informed until well into the school year
that those in the middle and lower math levels would not be on track for
calculus in 12th grade.

It also sounds like the details of the new progression options have not
been fully worked out, such as placement testing for 7th graders and the
summer school geometry course, and it seems unfair that current 7th and
8th graders should have to suffer for that.

I think that the district needs to provide a remedy for current 7th and
8th graders, a remedy that does not require private tutoring, as we are
a public school system. I suggest scheduling summer study sessions in
preparation for the placement tests and developing 2 new classes for
this fall--an accelerated Math 8/Algebra 1 class option for next year's
8th graders and an accelerated Algebra 1/Algebra 2 class for next year's
9th graders, along with supplementary summer courses to make sure these
kids can master the material. This would allow these students to proceed
on the track that we (and they) thought they were on, and would keep the
calculus option available to them, without requiring them to double up
on high school math or to take a summer geometry course that has not yet
been developed.

And I sincerely hope that future students will be offered more options
for getting to Algebra I in middle school.

I look forward to hearing how you plan to address this situation.

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