In a June 1 letter addressed to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the California Board of Education and other statewide leaders, the Beverly Hills Unified School District administration and Board of Education urged changes to the state’s proposed mathematics framework.
“[On May 24], the BHUSD Cabinet held a meeting in which we examined and discussed the proposed draft mathematics framework from the California Department of Education,” the letter read. “We acknowledge the draft mathematics framework is designed to provide local districts guidelines and selected research-based approaches for implementing instruction to ensure optimal benefits for all students. Theoretically, schools should be prepared to meet all levels of learning and never to the detriment of any other student. We do not, however, believe that this Framework in its current form ensures optimal benefits for all students, specifically middle school students. Accordingly, it is important that we urge the California Department of Education to confirm that all facets of this framework ultimately remain in local control to allow students to accelerate in their learning when multiple measures of data are used to ensure they are conceptually and developmentally ready.”
The letter added that the board of education on May 25 voted to oppose the framework and draft the letter.
“Please understand that the board is not opposing the framework in its entirety, but urges the California Department of Education to reconsider the limited options it provides to our middle and subsequently, high school students,” the letter read. “In BHUSD, we have worked hard over the past three years to develop new middle school mathematics pathways with open access opportunities for our students in the middle school classroom setting. We firmly believe in this work and have ample data exemplifying student performance and growth through these pathways which allow students access to algebra and even geometry as early as seventh grade.”
The state’s proposed changes would “be limiting our algebra and geometry course opportunities to be taught only in our high school, not middle school.”
“Consequently, we ask that the California Department of Education reconsider the proposed framework denying access to algebra and geometry to middle school students who are appropriately assessed and equipped to succeed in our rigorous instructional offerings in the middle school environment,” the letter read. “BHUSD can provide three years of longitudinal data to evidence both the academic capacity and readiness our students demonstrate prior to placement in these courses.”
“We urge you to listen to your stakeholders from students, parents, school [and] district administration, and elected officials,” the letter concluded.
“We hope that you will encourage the California Department of Education to examine the impact on middle school pathways due to eliminating access to algebra and geometry for our most accelerated learners.”
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