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Advanced Abacus

Posted By Malcolm A. Kline On March 15, 2010 @ 2:02 pm In Faculty Lounge | No Comments

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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3].

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URLs in this post:

[1] Leah Fabel: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Schools-official_-Algebra-for-all-a-_mistake_-in-Montgomery-87515077.html

[2] Beyond Demographic Destiny: An Analysis of Massachusetts Minority and White Student Achievement Gaps: http://server1.streamsend.com/streamsend/clicktracker.php?cd=34292&ld=112&md=1782&ud=d6c6eedbf383acf6a1054939f746b5d9&url=http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/pdf/100312_beyond_demographic_destiny.pdf

[3] Accuracy in Academia: http://academia.org/

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