This student reinforced for me why we cannot support the “Accelerated Algebra in Middle School” track that some Lowell teachers and parents are proposing.

We are moving away from two different types of instruction… one for low-performing students based on test-taking and memorization of facts and one for high-performing students where students learn to analyze and critique their own thinking.

I was always one of those folks that said, “I’m not a math person.” Now I realize… I actually am! Math isn’t just about getting the answer quickly or doing calculations, it’s also about thinking critically, being able to problem-solve, and explain your thinking to others… “thinking like a mathematician.”

Next year will be the first year that SFUSD will implement a NEW course sequence aligned with the new Common Core State Standards in Math (CCSS-M). SFUSD Commissioner Rachel Norton identified a key question on parents minds, “Is the rigor students need going to be represented in the new course sequence?” This is a good question. Nonetheless, I believe there is a more important conversation going on.