I think this is good news for our county schools in Montgomery County, Maryland:
Montgomery County schools to push basic math to prepare students for algebra
By Michael Birnbaum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 5, 2010; 12:00 AM
Montgomery County long has pushed its students to take ever-more-challenging math at ever-younger ages. Now educators will back off in the hope that more time and depth with the basics will yield payoffs in high school and beyond, school officials said Thursday.
Elementary and middle school students will no longer skip grade levels in math in large numbers. Instead, they will spend extra time on fundamental mathematical concepts that will better prepare them for Algebra I in the eighth grade and advanced math topics in high school. The school system aims to increase the number of high school students taking courses such as calculus and statistics.
The new direction comes as part of a sweeping set of recommended changes in the math curriculum released Thursday. Some of the recommendations cost money and require school board approval. Others, including the change in math acceleration, do not, and will be implemented quickly, officials said.
“Some students were placed in classes, and perhaps they weren’t as prepared as they should have been,” said Frieda Lacey, deputy superintendent of Montgomery schools, who sat on the work group that wrote the report. She said it was better to tackle topics in greater depth.
And I wonder if this will be a growing trend. Are other math teachers out there sensing a turning of the tide in curriculum? I know the new Common Core standards make this move, toward a more in-depth approach. So perhaps this is a national turning of the tide. On the face, I think this seems like a good direction in which to go.