Salem-Keizer School District 5th-graders trying to get into Accelerated Math 7 got a big surprise after taking the assessment in early May. They were met with yet another new policy that keeps even Talented And Gifted kids out of accelerated learning and forces them into “rigorous” Common Core Standards for Mathematics. Older TAG students had no problem testing into Accelerated Math 7 the past few years and successfully completed the track into high school. What gives?
Elementary math teachers have always cultivated achievement and pushed students to challenge themselves. Their formative classroom assessments are the most reliable measure of student performance. Faster learners were offered accelerated pathways in mathematics during middle school. It leads to taking math in high school during their 8th-grade year, where they are at a 10th-grade difficulty level. Normally, about 10% of West Salem 6th-graders participate. Now, all that changes.
Students are now being told to slow their pace of learning based on a standardized test. Families desrve a consistent message for achievement and schools need to rely on teacher assessments for placement. These issues should be publicly discussed.