‘Harrison Bergeron’ has a warning that educators should heed
“Equity” is the latest egalitarian buzzword, so of course it’s being deployed against math programs that challenge high school students to achieve.
“Improve equity in mathematics learning opportunities” is one of the stated goals of the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative. The word is not just included as window dressing.
The Commonwealth is backpedalling furiously at the moment because of criticism from parents and elected officials. The Virginia Department of Education is insisting that it isn’t making significant advances against advanced math classes. However, what we know of the still marinating proposal says otherwise.
The Virginia Mercury reported that the Department of Education’s own “regional webinars” tell another story.
“One widely circulated graphic eliminated courses such as Algebra I and II in favor of ‘foundational’ and ‘essential’ math concepts, with more advanced classes — including calculus and geometry — not starting until the 11th grade,” the Mercury reported.
Moreover, they are considering this flattening of the state curriculum because “Black, Hispanic and low-income students have lower pass rates on state math assessments than White and Asian students,” the Mercury reported.
In other words, in the name of equality, the state is not trying to bring struggling students up so much as hold high achieving ones back a bit.