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.
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We need to get serious about challenging our beliefs about math — who is good at it, and how we learn it.
Last Tuesday, I was proud to attend the SFUSD Board of Education meeting to show Black families support for the district’s math sequence.
Many parents were educated in traditional classrooms. To advocate effectively, we have to educate ourselves so we don’t push for out-dated instruction.
Reading through emails from SFUSD parents on the new math sequence, I’d like to clear up misinformation and reinforce some of the great thinking I’m seeing coming out of this debate.
As involved parents, we wrestle with new methods of instruction. We want to help, but may feel at a loss when confronted by new terminology, methodology and new teaching techniques. One of the biggest shifts in the new standards is more emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, as our schools move away from tracked classroom, teachers are expected to provide differentiated instruction. What does GOOD differentiated instruction look like when teaching the new Common Core aligned math?
If you are new to hearing about the “accelerated algebra” (aka: tracking) debate in SFUSD, here are a few articles to catch you up to speed.
According to a recent survey only 58% of Americans know what the Common Core Standards are. How are educators going to sell, let alone communicate, proposed improvements if parents don’t understand the basic premise of what we are talking about?
Are “progressive” parents advocating for separate-not-equal schools? How gifted educational programs support white supremacy in schools.
As the Black students from elite schools across the country testify, it’s STILL hard to be young, gifted and Black in our nation’s elite schools.