For the first time, I attended the very first board meeting at our school district tonight. Didn’t know what to expect, I sat down and listened with an open mind. I was there to support a group of parents who have children in the public school, like myself, and who believe in the system. The issue tonight was to ask the Board to reconsider opening up Algebra I as an option for all 8th graders. Parents addressed their opinions on why this is important for our children and how it affects their future. Of course, there were some opposing voices as well. They don’t believe children should be pushed to a higher level. I disagree with that argument. Parents are not asking that every child should be thrown into that class. Parents are asking to restore Algebra I as an option for advanced learners who can handle the work. I feel these high achievers are at a disadvantage and many times left behind. This one-size-fits-all approach to education is a fallacy. Simply look at the diverse array of learners most schools now serve. Everyone is unique. As a parent of two bright boys, I am concerned if they would be academically challenged. What’s available for gifted students is often sorely lacking at public schools. Honor classes and GATE programs has been eliminated due to cutbacks. All these setbacks are driving families to privately educate their children. Then what about those who can’t afford it?

I attended this meeting because I am in favor of creating an option for algebra in the 8th grade. Regardless of which approach the district adopts, I strongly believe that every child (regardless of ethnicity, creed, socio-economic background, etc.) deserves to have a fair, meaningful, and equal educational opportunities.