Virginia Moves To Cancel Math For “Inequality”

( Virginia public schools are taking an interesting approach to “improve equality.” They are banning accelerated math classes.

According to a Fox News report, the Virginia Department of Education is working to eliminate all options for accelerated math classes before 11th grade. In essence, this will keep students who are high achieving from advancing to more challenging classes until their final two years of high school.

The change was first made public by Ian Serotkin, a school board member in Loudoun County, who posted about it on Facebook this week. Serotkin said he learned of this change just the night before during a briefing to staff on the new Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative.

He wrote:

“[A]s currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade. This is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this.

“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.”

Serotkin isn’t the only board member to take to Facebook to complain about the changes. Atoosa Reeser, who is the school board vice chair, also posted:

“Please see my colleague’s post regarding a new initiative by the VDOE. The ability to accelerate math at the schools in the Algonkian district has been a well-appreciated option for many students. Please keep a lookout for an information item to be on the Board agenda in the near future, which I will share in my Weekly Work-Up.”

According to the VMPI, the new initiative’s “goals and desired outcomes” include “improv[ing] equity in mathematics learning opportunities” as well as “empower[ing] students to be active participants in a quantitative world.”

Charles Pyle, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education, tried to play up the initiative’s “differentiated instruction” notion> he said teachers will “cater to the learning needs of each child.”

However, Pyle didn’t respond to a question from Fox News about the concerns that the new initiative would “hold kids back.”

Instead, he offered a statement that read:

“[VMPI] aims to support increased differentiated learning opportunities within a heterogeneous learning environment, that will promote greater access to advanced mathematical learning for all students before high school graduation.

“Shifting to deeper learning through differentiated instruction, implementation of VMPI will promote student development of critical thinking, authentic application and problem-solving skills.

“Offering an inclusive learning environment that engages and challenges students of varied levels of understanding and different interests will be a focus on the common mathematics pathways proposed in grades K-10.”

Ian Prior, a former official in the Trump administration who’s also a parent of a Loudoun student, said the move was a way to “stifle advancement for gifted students and set them back as they prepare for advanced mathematics in college. This is critical race theory in action, and parents should be outraged.”