The Washington, D. C. suburb of Montgomery County, Maryland is one of America’s richest—in dollars. Its’ public school curricula is a bit more impoverished.
“A top Montgomery County schools official has called the district’s tenacious and much-publicized push for all middle school students to complete high-level mathematics a ‘mistake,’” Leah Fabel reported in The Washington Examiner. Specifically, Susan Marks, the district’s associate superintendent for human resources and a former teacher and principal said that “One mistake that we did make is that we pushed every kid into eighth-grade algebra.”
“Hallelujah,” Gordon Brenne, a PTA vice president at Kensington’s Albert Einstein High School, said when told of Marks’ comment. One wonders if the high school’s namesake would have reacted the same way.
Full disclosure: this correspondent first encountered Algebra in sixth-grade. The decision by the county further calls into question the oft-repeated assertion by teacher’s unions that a school district’s wealth determines its scholastics.
“Using U.S. Census data and controlling for family poverty and community education levels, Beyond Demographic Destiny: An Analysis of Massachusetts Minority and White Student Achievement Gaps demonstrates that students’ demographic characteristics are not determinative even within Massachusetts district schools systems,” the Boston-based Pioneer Institute, which published the report, claims.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.