Parents' Rights to Information on Algebra I Placement Process for 6th Grade Students
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In the last academic year, the school district held many parent meetings to explain the math tracks under Common Core. Not one meeting mentioned the intention to identify 6th Grade students for additional Algebra I classes. Yet, six weeks after school started, parents were surprised to find, through word of mouth, that a few 6th Grade students were identified for the Algebra 1 class, "quietly."
A small Algebra I class with only fourteen 6th Grade students was created at Miller Middle School with extra funding from the district. Students were surreptitiously invited to join the class. No students and parents outside of the fourteen families were notified. The school district made no attempt to announce this decision to the parent community. When parents started to ask questions about the class, the school simply answered "It is NOT an open process.”
When more and more parents became aware of the existence of such a small Algebra I class, the school still would not provide a single satisfactory explanation. The school still attempts to keep the class under wraps. This lack of communication triggered more questions and doubts by parents on the original intention of such a class.
The overwhelming questions raised from the parent community are:
1. What is the real intent of this math class?
2. Why was the class created after school started?
3. Why were the parents not informed in advance?
4. What criteria were used to select 6th Grade students for the Algebra 1 class?
5. Are our school resources properly used?
In this information age, news travels fast; rumors travel even faster. Any attempt to keep an important event quiet only leads to more suspicions, misunderstanding and doubts. We urge the school and the district to step up and clarify the whole process of creating the 6th Grade Algebra 1 class to all the parents. We, as concerned parents, PTA contributors and taxpayers, have the right to know the truth.
Thank you for your attention and support of this important matter!