Equity focused plan removes accelerated Math before 11th grade

| April 23, 2021

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I progressed up to calculus when I was in high school. One of the things that I liked about math is that you either knew it or you didn’t. There was a way to prove that you knew it; you had to show your work in both the home works and in the exams. The work leading to the answer formed a large percent of your grade. There was no room for teacher subjectivity to favor one student’s argument over that of another. If you want to succeed, you have to apply yourself.

Unfortunately, the initiatives that we see, that would contribute to the further erosion of critical thinking in this country, continue. The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative (VMPI) has designed a new curriculum. Accelerated mathematics would not be available until the 11th grade.

From Fox News:

On VDOE’s website, the state features an infographic that indicates VMPI would require “concepts” courses for each grade level. It states various goals like “[i]mprove equity in mathematics learning opportunities,” “[e]mpower students to be active participants in a quantitative world,” and “[i]dentify K-12 mathematics pathways that support future success.”

During a webinar posted on YouTube in December, a member of the “essential concepts” committee claimed that the new framework would exclude traditional classes like Algebra 1 and Geometry.

Committee member Ian Shenk, who focused on grades 8-10, said: “Let me be totally clear, we are talking about taking Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 — those three courses that we’ve known and loved … and removing them from our high school mathematics program, replacing them with essential concepts for grade eight, nine, and 10.”

He added 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.

The developers are trying to argue that they are providing more useful knowledge. However, a reading of their justification shows that the traditional mathematical knowledge that we gained is required first.

Fox News has a detailed article on this topic.

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Intelligence is “cognitive privilege” that must be mitigated by “equity” for “social justice,” comrade! We must all be equally ign’ant!

Hack Stone

Attention students! After a thorough review, it has been determined that Algebra is inherently racist, and is being promulgated to oppress minorities, especially those of color. As a result, beginning immediately, the School Board has removed all Algebra textbooks from the schools and has laid off all Math teachers. You can rest assured that you will no longer be forced to bear the burden of learning a discipline that you could never master due to the color of your skin. To occupy the time that you had for Algebra, please assemble in the auditorium to watch a screening of the 2016 film Hidden Figures, the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.

The Stranger

Well, considering that algebra is derived from the Arabic “al-jabr” and we use the Arabic numerical system, that argument, much like Dan Bernath, won’t fly!😂🤣


Time to resolve the force.
See what I did there?


They’ve already made the claim that math is RAAAYCISS! I struggled with math until I got a teacher that explained that you just follow the formula and it will all fall into place. My Grandson was a math whizz before he was in 3rd grade and was doing college level trig when he hit 10 years old. Guess it was that White Privilege kicking in.

More dumbing down of the population.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

I took a general course in HS which was wood working shop, General Drafting, and economics and one or two I forgot about. Forgot to mention study hall and gym. A number of super seniors in shop who were up to 19-20 years old.


I was in College and taking a class and getting a TON of extra help…
a+b = C and then and/or but a+b also = d
Differential calculus? I don’t remember but I do remember hitting a wall about November into the class and then having to go talk to someone about dropping the class because I just couldn’t get it (yeah about that white privilege, I ain’t no dummy) come to find out I didn’t even need that class to graduate. THANKS UMUC or “Global Campus” whatever!! *big finger*
ANyway, I ain’t no maths wizz. Whitie.


I always hated math. Never got past Algebra 1 and did fine. Honestly I’d rather see classes on “life skills” like how to start a bank account, invest for your future, find a job, make simple repairs on home or car, etc. I can honestly say that never taking geometry, algebra II, calculus, trig, etc, has not hurt me one bit. I graduated college Phi Beta Kappa taking literally the minimum amount of math I had to take. IMO the single most important skill people can learn in school is the ability to correctly speak, read and write the English language. Everything else – including math – depends on the ability to effectively communicate. When I was in the Army it was astonishing how many people – even officers who had to be college graduates – could not write a simple paragraph without making pretty horrible errors, misspellings, etc. A few examples: When I was stationed in Germany I lived in the barracks and we were given copies of a “Barracks SOP” for our company. The SOP prohibited posting photographs that showed “Public hair or gentials.” Keep in mind this SOP was prepared by (or at the direction of) the 1SG and signed off by the O-3 commander and had been in effect for quite some time with nobody noticing (or caring about) the errors. In the same company, the arms room had a weapons cleaning station with drawers for supplies. There was a large sign posted that read “Put everything back in the draws before leaving the cleaning table.” Human nature being what it is, it doesn’t matter how liberal minded or “accepting” a person is, if that person receives an email, resume or job application that is filled with grammatical and spelling errors, the receiver is naturally going to assume the sender is less educated and less intelligent and likely less qualified for the job. So honestly, I’m fine with dropping advanced maths from the general curriculum. In the modern world there are much more important skills IMO and given that there are only so many hours in… Read more »


Last I checked Engineers, Economists, Fincial Analysts, Accountants, Crpytologists, Statisticians, Computer Programmers and Actuaries all required advanced math skills just for starters. Without people with these skills society as we know it will fall apart rapidly.


You need to check again. Most of those jobs don’t need “advanced math skills” beyond algebra. Most don’t even require algebra.

In any case, the jobs you listed comprise a tiny fraction of all jobs out there.

Saying that every high school kid should learn calc or trig makes as much sense as saying every high school kid should learn 3 foreign languages.

Would a student benefit form learning foreign languages? Yes, absolutely.

Are there jobs out there where knowing foreign languages is a requirement? Again, yes, absolutely.

But that doesn’t mean that EVERY CHILD needs to learn multiple languages.

I’m not saying advanced maths shouldn’t be taught. Certainly they should. But to the extent that trying to teach already underperforming students arcane skills that they are unlikely to ever need detracts from teaching them skills they absolutely WILL need (like how to speak, read and write the English language) it’s not a smart trade off.

Just like not every HS graduate needs to be a white collar middle manager, not every HS graduate needs to be an engineer or a scientist.

My undergrad major was history, but I’ll be the first one to say that it’s not really that important for high school grads to know who won the Peloponnesian wars or what year Constantnople fell.*

School curriculum should be determined by what people need to know vs. what we might, in some perfect world, WANT them to know. Not every child has the same capacity and for a lot of kids, trying to teach them advanced math or science is like trying to pour 10 gallons of water into a 5 gallon jug.

* The Spartans and 1453 for those who don’t want to look it up

Hack Stone


I agree with Hack and regret. Your philosophy is one of low expectations
and failure.


Nonsense. Being a plumber, electrician, etc. rather than a college “educated” paper shuffler is not a matter of “low expectations”. I have known a number of college grads, some with graduate degrees, who couldn’t do their own jobs well much less a “low expectation” job like plumbing.

A Proud Infidel®™

One thing you find a lot more of at Tech Schools than you do at four year universities is Headhunters because the job skills taught at Tech Schools are in far higher demand than say a four year degree in Gender Studies!




And this is why we have an abundance of foreign-educated people at NASA. In my particular technical area we have scientists/engineers from Red China, India, Korea, Greece, France, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Iran (via Canada), Canada, Mexico, Scotland, Philippine Islands, a Spaniard who did his PhD in a Japanese university, and some few from the USA.

Many of them are naturalized US citizens; others are US persons [green card]; most have their advanced degree from their country; others have additional MS and PhD from a US university (and have returned to be professors).

Proportionally few US-born scientists/engineers.

It’s like working at the UN here … except we actually get work done!


“It’s like working at the UN here”

I think that also describes the STEM faculty at most universities. I treasure the memory of one of my math. professors, a German, and a Russian prof., both with thick accents, conversing in English in a hallway. We also had Turkish, Israeli, Indian, Pakistani, and New York professors.


Jobs Americans won’t work…

Hack Stone

Don’t worry, that work is being outsourced to India.


Don’t forget that place where the Army feeds you, the “Dinning Facility”, and the water Buffalo containing “Portable Water”. Oh yeah, that big springy slinky thing, “Constantine Wire”. I actually had a 1SG tell me it was invented by a guy named Constantine.

A Proud Infidel®™

During my AD days on Fort Benning I once had a Squad Leader who wrote “API you do good unifrom but boots” in the penmanship of a First Grader on one of my monthly counselings!


Try a functionally-illiterate 1SG…


You should have seen it when they gave our Brigade CSM Email back in the late 90s. Every day was comedy gold.

Green Thumb

Knew a few.

But that is the one thing that the Army provides folks, all types and all education levels, a chance.


In the Summer of 1997 my USAR MP detachment got called up to deploy to the Balkans to “keep the peace.” To add to the the typical Army absurdity of training at Fort Benning, GA in August and September (the two hottest months of the year) for a winter time deployment to Southern Europe, there was the dining facility that had a juice dispenser with some purple juice in it. On the dispenser was a hand written label that read “Electric Light Drink.”

I must have looked at that for 5 minutes thinking it was some weird Georgia thing before it occurred to me that someone likely told the mess hall staff to label the “Electrolyte Drink” i.e. generic Gatorade.


Brawndo comes in purple flavor?


Yes! It’s got what plants crave!


Had a block-headed and obnoxious S3 SGM scream at people about using the “Eight Step Training Module” as if it were a physical thing (he thought) so much and so loud that subordinate NCOs had their troops order the power source (actually the alternate battery pack for the M8 chem alarm using D-cell batteries) to have it on-hand. (The F*-tard yelled at his driver and publicly berated him as stupid for losing his M998 HMMWV’s spare tire that didn’t exist then, too.) He safely retired w/o making SMA.

Green Thumb

Surprised he was not promoted to SMA.

You just listed several qualifications.

Hack Stone

Hate to disagree with you, but Hack Stone only took the Basic Algebra courses in High School and none of the other college bound curriculum, figuring who needed that shit if they were going into The Marine Corps. Took a course titled Business English. The teacher told me to stop wasting Hack’s time and take a course more suited to his aptitude. Had an English Teacher who encouraged the creative writing, which lead to a lucrative career as Director Of Media Relations for a proud but humble woman owned business that sells software to the federal government.

As to (see what Hack did there?) Algebra and Calculus, it wasn’t too bad for the entry level electronics training (2841), but when it came to the career advanced school (2861/Ground Radio Technician), that lack of Calculus really bit Hack in the ass.


That first math week of basic electronics knocked a lot of people out of the course. The last week of radio fundamentals took out some too.

Hack Stone

Not sure what year you went through, but Hack started BEC in January 1982. First thing they did was give everyone a MathAssessment Test. If you passed, you skipped Math Week (Week 1) and started on Week 2. A few Marines did skip, but most were a bit rusty, being out of formalized math classes for a few years. They had a lady from Czechoslovakia and a woman named Jeannie (who always wore extremely tight pants) teaching Math Week. Highly unusual for someone to fail, but our class had one of he few Math Week Rocks. He dropped back to the next class, and failed it again. Probably the only Marine ever to fail Math Week twice. After that, it was off to Motor transport School. (One Small Rock From BEC; One Giant Rock For Motor-T). Hack even gifted him the name Flunkin’ Duncan. A little bit over a year later, as Hack was finishing up 2841 school, Hack’s brother Rollin Stone checked into MCCES. Waiting to pick up class, he got stuck on a working party. The 5 Ton driver says “There’s a guy in the Corps that looks just like you.” Rollin tells him “Probably my brother Hack.” (Rollin doesn’t speak in the 3rd Person, very annoying). So Rollin comes back to the barracks and asks Hack if he knows a guy named Duncan. “You mean Flunkin’ Duncan, the guy who failed Math wee, twice?” Rollin says He told me that he almost completed BEC, but they had a hard on for him and kicked him out right before graduating.” Hack sent him straight. Flunkin’ Duncan ended getting NJP for bad checks, then threatened his CO afterwards, which was followed by a court martial.


“Honestly I’d rather see classes on “life skills” like how to start a bank account,…”

When I went through Jr. High and High school we had those classes. They also had “distributive education” where you worked half a day and went to school half a day, and “vocational education”.

That was before teachers’ unions and when parents still controlled education.


Math is one of the foundations of my career field. Thank god I was not held back from being successful so that less motivated individuals could feel better about themselves.

Herbert J Messkit

I too took a testin 6 th grade and was placed in advanced math in 7 th grade. We were a core group that pretty much stayed together through 12.th grade where we took calculus. Today schools do nothing to support the exceptional student catering only to the lowest common denominator. We’re on the fast track to mediocrity

A Proud Infidel®™

It appears that a building a society like that in the movie “Idiocracy” is the goal of the left.


Da, comrade, is whole plan! Easier to rule– right, Lars?


There are several sound arguments for revamping the math being taught to primary school students. Teaching probabilities and statistics could pay huge dividends for the work force.

But since I live in VA, home of vaccine distribution by skin tone, color me suspicious of their motives and the end product.


Teaching probabilities and statistics could pay huge dividends for the work force.

Absolutely. An ability to reason and understand statistics is incredibly important in making sense of a world that uses and misuses them on a daily basis. Personally, I’d just swap out geometry for it.


Too bad those proposing this are the same group who believe skin tone alone should guide public health policy.

Our state government are snakes in the grass that speak with forked tongues.

Hack Stone

If people understood statistics, they would realize that statistically, young African American men stand a better chance of surviving an encounter with law enforcement officers than surviving an encounter with Democrat fund raiser Ed Buck.


“There are several sound arguments for revamping the math being taught to primary school students.”

Oh, Gawd, not again. I am old enough to have survived “The New Math”, “Open Classrooms”, and some other educational “innovations”. If they had worked as promised we would have perfect schools by now.


If they can’t do basic math, which is either right or wrong, (zero into zero is still zero) they’ll never figure out which bathrooms to use.

I think it’s all a part of their plan though!


Yes, mathematics really IS inherently racist, since Algebra was developed by some guy from the Middle East.
In the middle east, there were many developments from mathematicians who have had a huge impact on how we see and use algebra today. Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi is the most prominent and most important of the arabic mathematicians and is is known as the father of algebra to this day.
– Source: https://www.mathtutordvd.com/public/Who-Invented-Algebra.cfm

Euclid, a Greek fellow, developed geometry, Hipparchus, another confounded Greek fellow, developed trigonemtry and another guy, the Indian astronomer Madhava [c. 1340–1425].) And calculus came from Isaac Newton and Gottfried Liebnitz. So yeah, it’s all VERY VERY RACISSSSS!

What a load of crap! Dumb things down and never let the kids who are really smart and might created something new and important do anything like that, because that’s all racisss, too.


I have a STEM degree and in my military career served as both an Academic and aircrew instructor at various times in my career.

I didn’t get married until late in life and my kids were born even later. This year I got to do Algebra I with my oldest and 5th grade math with my youngest. I’ve lived through the implementation of Common Core in Math.

One of my heartburns has been not that there is such a thing as common core but how it has been implemented. As an instructor we would teach the school solution, and if you had some small percentage of students that couldn’t get it you taught that 10 percent another way. Common Core on the other hand if there are 10 ways to add some numbers together theh they taught all 10 ways even if you understood the first one you spent time teaching all ways and tested all ways. Lots of breadth, not much depth or proficiency. I’ll tell you Dad only knew 3 or 4 of the ways and was useless trying to help with the other 6 leading to frustration.

The former child actress Danica Mckeller has written a couple Math Self Help books. I used the one she did on Algebra to help explain to my daughter and polish up my skills a bit. Di I mention the kids don’t have text book? They bring home individual work sheets. I have the book she did on Geometry already and will spend the time studying it this summer to sharpen my skills. So I’ll be ahead of the game. when fall classes resume.

A friend and former coworker is incredibly smart and has a MS in EE to boot. He has worked in the past as an adjunct professor of Math at some of our local JuCo Tech and tech schools. He has complained much about how well the kids are being taught in the local school system as he sees the results at the College level.


I have plenty of gripes about ‘common core’ issues as well, but one of the biggest is just how bad some of the text books are, including the work sheets your kids got. It always makes me think of the excellent story Richard Feynman had about when he was asked to serve on a California textbook selection committee. There’s a short version here that’s worth a read:


The full story is in his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman”, which is worth a read, too.


I believe it. The college textbook market is probably worse. I have maintained for years that the college textbook market is a racket. It is obscene when any textbook costs well over $200.

The Stranger

Yeah, and then you see the name of the author and realize, “Hey! That’s the professor for my class.” It’s a racket, alright!


One of the worst textbooks I have ever read in my rather lengthy experience with higher education was written by the professor for that class. Of course we never saw him; the class, about 100 students, was “taught” by grad students and met in an auditorium.


Hope this link works in order for one to see this cartoon on algebra:




These are needed skills to go farther in certain professions. It is too bad that they are taking away the opportunity for kids who have the knack to become more interested.

I see this as a teacher’s union opportunity to teach less, do less, and get paid more.

I believe the biggest cause of the academic downturn in grade levels over 40-50 years have been the teacher’s unions. They should be abolished.

When I was growing up, I heard it said, “a teacher should be called to teach, the way a preacher is called to preach”. Meaning, either you have the true desire to teach children or you’re just looking for a job. Today, most were just looking for a job with a defined pension after 20 years. Which is what most states and my state offer them.


Back in my day I knew some guys that went into teaching to avoid the Viet of the Nam.


“[i]mprove equity in mathematics learning opportunities

Does the Commonwealth of Virginia currently prevent black and other minority students from showing up to class, paying attention, and doing the work required to get a good grade? That’s what it sounds like they’re doing by their own description. If they aren’t, then they already have “equity” of learning opportunities.

What one does with said opportunities is a personal choice. You’ll only get out of education what you put into it.


It’s not fair that people with talent and motivation do better, so nobody can have the opportunity now…


Let more advanced kids take as much math as they can handle. Kids who don’t grasp math can be left behind to study what they can grasp. Coming from an engineering family, I appreciate the math, but there are those who cannot grasp math, just as there are those who learn languages poorly.

E4 Mafia '83-'87

A rising tide raises all ships…except in the radical Leftist world where individual exceptionalism is a sin. All these Marxist/Communist/Socialist society’s fail because setting ‘The Mean’ to the left side of the normal distribution curve is a bad idea. Does anyone ever wonder why all the innovation comes from countries that encourage excellence?


” One of the things that I liked about math is that you either knew it or you didn’t”

Yep. That’s one thing I like about it, too. 2 + 2 = 4. Period. Social “Science” and Lit. classes are fun but way too full of BS. I once got a B+ on a Blue Book exam in college using 90% BS; I hadn’t read the book (James Joyce, “A Portrait of the …). Did the same in a few other classes. Non-STEM subjects are not to be taken seriously.


I wrote a book report in 7th grade on a book
that I made up. Can’t do that with math.

Hack Stone

26LB, you can’t just post that comment without going into detail. We need the “rest of the story” about the story. What was the name of the “book”, was it a real author, theme of the book? Perhaps you could Stone for your misdeed by writing that book. Enquiring minds want to know.


The name of the book was “Fury” and it was about a
kid and his horse. Don’t recall the author’s name but
it will come to me now that I have shed my guilt.
Not that I had any guilt to begin with…

Hack Stone

You story was hijacked by Hollywood, they slightly modified the story, and released as the 2014 Matt Damon film Fury.


I made up the authors name as well but
it will come to me.

Commissioner Wretched

As a writer myself, I am delighted that you did that! There were several instances in junior high and high school (I attended before anybody heard of “middle school”) where I would have wished I had the gumption to do just that.

Wonder if my teachers would have noticed?


I’ll bet she never read the report to begin with
which is a whole different lesson in itself.


I love that story.

Green Thumb

If the False Commander “Phony” Phil Monkress (CEO of All-Points Logistics) procures two (2) contracts from the government and stealing from the American Taxpayer based upon his Native American claims and two (2) more contracts from the government while continuing to steal from the American Taxpayer based upon his Navy SEAL claims then that is four (4) contacts he has stolen based upon four (4) claims.



Math is and always was my kryptonite, it pissed my dad off to no end that the best I could manage was a B and I needed a tutor to get me out of the hole I was in in Algebra Ia (think Algebra for Dummies), but something clicked with the tutoring I pulled an A+ and passed just barely for the year. Took shop math, pulled A’s for the year. Discovered later in life I learned better using the math as a practical application opposed to some vague thing. Sometimes it’s not the difficulty of the material it’s how the teacher presents it that makes it easier to learn. God knows I didn’t feel like a dope in shop math because it was all stuff I used every day in shop class. Another reason to bring back shop, makes learning math easier for people like me!

Green Thumb

I cannot remember the story, but I think Stephen King (or Richard Bachman) wrote a short story about how society tested kids after a certain grade (10th?)and if they tested to high on standardized tests, they were eliminated.

In the story, the parents encouraged the child to read comic books, do not ask why the sky is blue (but we all know the real answer to that one), do not be inquisitive, etc.

And they could not tell them why.

It looks like Virginia, who used to have very good school systems, is bringing fiction to reality.


Not Stephen King… “Examination Day,” by Henry Slesar. Twilight Zone reboot in the ’80s covered it:

Green Thumb


I remember reading it as a short story.

Did not know about the TZ show, though. I will check it out.

Green Thumb

The kid is the kid from Over the Top.

Gotta love the Twilight Zone.


And, don’t let the sci-fi nature of the story fool ya… the Khmer Rouge actually sought to killed every Cambodian smart enough to earn a college degree for such reasons (some people still unfairly did better than others after all wealth was redistributed) in ’75.

Green Thumb

One of my degrees was in History.

I do understand.

The Stranger

I remember that TZ reboot and especially that particular episode. It disturbed me on a fundamental level, which means it had the desired effect.

The Stranger

You do know that Richard Bachman IS Stephen King, right?

Green Thumb



Oddly enough, as a former Infantryman, I can read.

Crazy, huh?

Mustang Major

Some people line up at the mall predawn for the latest AirJordans. Usually, violence breaks out during the scramble for the shoes. (Google: Air Jordan mall fight) You never see someone wearing Air Jordans in a battle over the latest SAT study guide. Go figure…

Forest Bondurant

Considering that a majority of folks on this blog (in addition to those who live in Virginia) are currently in the military (or might potentially live in Virginia), here’s something to think about.

What’s supposed to happen to the youngsters who arrive with their families on PCS orders and attend public schools in the state?

If “higher level math” isn’t offered until 11th grade, then that means the same kids who lived in Virginia for a spell will feel the effects if they PCS with their family and move on to another state, where the requirements are higher?

They’ll be left behind is what – unless the youngster was fortunate to attend a private school, or perhaps home schooled, and not subject to this sort of nonsense.

The affects don’t only affect those who live in the state. They also affect those who live in Virginia 3-4 years and move on.