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Virginia is reportedly moving to drop accelerated math education prior to 11th grade

Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin warned in a Facebook post that "as currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade."

Updated: April 22, 2021 - 11:28pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

An initiative by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) would nix accelerated math options for students before they reach 11th grade, according to Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin.

Serotkin wrote in a Facebook post that "we received a briefing from staff on the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI), a sweeping initiative by the Virginia Department of Education to revamp the K-12 math curriculum statewide over the next few years." 

He went on to sound the alarm that "as currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade. That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this. All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7. All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10. Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses."

Fox News reported that Virginia Department of Education spokesperson Charles Pyle indicated to the outlet that the classes would allow for some degree of variation related to a pupil's proficiency. 

"Differentiated instruction means providing instruction that is catered to the learning needs of each child (appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor)," Pyle said. "Differentiated instruction is designed to provide the appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor for each student," he added. 

"The VMPI implementation team (VDOE, college and university staff, and school division staff) is currently working to seek feedback to help ensure local implementation practices address concerns like the shift from acceleration to deeper learning," Pyle said.

A website about the initiative states that it will "Improve equity in mathematics learning opportunities."

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