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The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.
A Loudoun parent who spoke on the condition of anonymity worried that the changes would "lower standards for all students in the name of equity."
"These changes will have a profound impact on students who excel in STEM related curriculum, weakening our country's ability to compete in a global marketplace for years to come," the parent told Fox News on Thursday.
The majority of advanced-diploma earners in 2019 were Asian (79%) and White (63%), according to Sale's presentation. Among minority students, 44% of Hispanic learners, 40% of Black students and 35% of "economically disadvantaged" students received advanced degrees.
Shenk did say that the concepts courses wouldn't eliminate algebraic ideas but rather interweave multiple strands of mathematics throughout the courses. Those included data analysis, mathematical modeling, functions and algebra, spatial reasoning and probability.
VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle indicated to Fox News that the courses would allow for at least some variation depending on students' skill level. "Differentiated instruction means providing instruction that is catered to the learning needs of each child (appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor)," Pyle said.