The new student assignment plan is on today's Wake County school board agenda but not the new middle school math placement policy.
School board vice chairman John Tedesco said that the second reading of the math policy was pushed to the Nov. 1 meeting because of the potential crowd today for the assignment vote.
Tedesco said he wants to adopt the math policy and deal with the concerns about the new 5th/6th grade compacted math class. One question will be whether a potential new Democratic school board majority might handle both issues differently.
At this month's ED task force meeting, staff shared this policy, this placement criteria, this R&P and this funding source info. It still includes the 70 percent EVAAS probability predictor as the floor and prevented teacher judgment from being used to keep students out of higher-level courses.
Would a new Democratic majority push the floor above 70 percent? Would a new majority modify the language so that teachers could use their judgment to both move kids up and to send them down in a math class?
Any changes would put board members at odds with Superintendent Tony Tata, who has been an enthusiastic backer of the policy.
Also during the ED task force meeting, members learned about the new compacted math class that's allowing fifth-graders to get a big head start. Targeted for academically gifted students, it would put them into position to enter middle school taking pre-algebra in sixth-grade and Algebra I in seventh-grade.
According to this handout, 525 fifth-graders across the county are taking compacted math this school year.
Some task force members complained that it was an attempt to bypass the new math guidelines that are meant to get more qualified eighth-graders in Algebra I. Tedesco said some fear that these efforts to get more students into Algebra I in seventh-grade could result in the weakening of the quality of instruction in the eighth-grade classes.
Tedesco said he believes the board can adopt the math policy next month and also review the implementation of the compacted math classes.
Would a new Democratic majority review the compacted math course or leave it alone? Would Tedesco's fellow Republicans be willing to rock the boat on something that appeals to the AG families?