An elite New York City middle school attempted to remove its advanced math classes, sparking outrage among parents.
According to the New York Post, NYC’s Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies’ Principal Megan Adams emailed parents stating that the school “will no longer have leveled math courses.”
“I know this is a change,” Adams said. “I assure you that this decision was not made lightly.”
Maggie Feurtado, the former educator who created the advanced math placement test and curriculum, told the New York Post that she was “simply appalled” by the school’s decision.
“This is all in the name of equity. And it’s likely coming from above,” Feurtado said. “But it’s misguided. Having everyone in the same class hurts everybody.”
The teacher — who taught in the city for 17 years — said that the entrance exam assessed not just a student’s knowledge of mathematics, but critical thinking skills as well. The elite middle school feeds into ultra-competitive high schools in the New York City area. She called on the school to shift its priorities.
“We need to teach kids to get hungry,” Feurtado said. “They need to understand that this is how they can get ahead, through education and hard work. This is how they can go places. Priorities have to change.”
Feurtado went on to say that nixing advanced classes not only hurts advanced students, but other students who need more assistance in the classroom.
“It’s like not allowing any kids in a daycare to walk until all of them learn to walk. It doesn’t work,” she said. “Advanced kids don’t want to belabor the same material. And the kids who need the extra attention won’t get what they need.”
Following feedback from angered parents and Feurtado’s comments, Lab Middle School announced that it put the plan on “pause.”
“We will be holding community meetings where parents and educators can hear from one another, and school leadership can collect feedback,” Adams said.
A New York City Department of Education spokesman told the New York Post that the meetings will begin next week.
“Lab Middle School prides itself on offering rigorous courses that best prepare our young people for bright futures, and no advanced math programs have been cut. Principal Adams will be hosting a series of community engagement beginning this Thursday to discuss course programming,” said the spokesperson.
The Virginia Department of Education has also considered ending advanced diplomas state-wide in the name of “equity.”
The Daily Wire reported:
During a Zoom meeting, Virginia Education Department’s Director of Policy Leslie Sale announced a newfound effort to review Virginia’s diploma and graduation requirements, according to Fox News.
“This is about … how and where graduation requirements can operate as a level for equity. So, first, we’re going to start with … the possibility of consolidating the standard and advanced studies diploma,” Sale said. “Hopefully, this discussion will allow us to think through how we maintain a rigorous academic foundation in a way that’s really equitably serving the needs and aspirations of all of Virginia learners.”
This article has been updated for clarity.
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