(Daily Caller News Foundation) – Parents are saying that a Massachusetts school district’s decision to axe advanced math in the name of equity has caused more harm to students, and only benefits families with access to outside resources, according to the Boston Globe.
Several years ago, Cambridge Public Schools made the decision to no longer offer advanced math classes to sixth through eighth graders because they were not enrolling enough low-income students, according to the Boston Globe. Parents and educators have pushed back against the decision, claiming that advanced math has now become limited to students with families who can afford to pay for private tutoring, having the opposite effect than the school intended it to have.
“The students who are able to jump into a higher level math class are students from better-resourced backgrounds,” Jacob Barandes, a Cambridge Public Schools parent, told the outlet. “They’re shortchanging a significant number of students, overwhelmingly students from less-resourced backgrounds, which is deeply inequitable.”
One Cambridge Public Schools parent pulled their middle schooler out of the district so he can learn at a school that teaches advanced math, the Boston Globe reported. Other parents argue that because Algebra 1 is not offered in middle school, students are unable to take advanced classes in high school that would leave them more prepared for college, according to the Boston Globe.
In response to the backlash, the district is moving to offer aspects of the Algebra 1 curriculum throughout eighth grade while also providing a free online summer program to incoming ninth-grade students who want to take the course, the Boston Globe reported.
“We have a huge focus on addressing both the academic achievement gaps and the opportunity gaps in our community,” Victoria Greer, Cambridge Public Schools superintendent, told the outlet. “One thing the district is not interested in doing is perpetuating those gaps.”