School District Axed Advanced Math In The Name Of ‘Equity’. Parents Say It Made Things Worse

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School District Axed Advanced Math In The Name Of ‘Equity’. Parents Say It Made Things Worse


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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.”

School districts throughout the country are moving to axe certain academic standards such as advanced courses, grades and homework in the name of equity; in California, a high school recently stopped offering honors courses because the courses were failing to enroll enough black and Latino students. A Nevada school district implemented an “equitable grading” system, a practice which gives students more chances to show they have mastered a subject while downplaying the importance of homework and deadlines.

“Not providing access means that the only people who will have access are the people who have outside means,” Ross Benson, a Cambridge Public Schools teacher who teaches advanced classes, told the Boston Globe.

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Cambridge Public Schools did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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