As schools around the U.S. are transitioning to the new Common Core standards, some parents of advanced students are concerned their children will be left behind.
In San Diego, Calif., school administrators are reassuring parents that the structure of math classes from 6th to 12th grades will not be affected in terms of gaining college credit or being on the path to having Calculus by junior year.
The transition to the new, more rigorous curriculum has spawned concerns, questions and even protests throughout the country.
NBC 7 even asked three moms to take the homework challenge and see how they would handle the new emphasis on critical thinking that accompanies the new style of teaching.
But some parents of advanced students were concerned the new curriculum would mean their children would be placed in math classes according to age and not according to ability.
“It’s very frustrating,” said parent Katie Anderson. “The other night I had a conversation with 10 different parents for 10 different sites with four different stories they’ve gotten from their principals.”
Some parents report being told their child will be kicked back from Algebra to pre-Algebra, for example, which could disrupt the pathway to advanced mathematics in high school.
Sherry Lawson, San Diego Unified School District’s manager for math, said the challenge will be there for all students.
“There are a lot of questions,” Lawson said. “We have equally as many questions.”
Lawson said middle school is an area of high concern because there are so many changes in content.
While most students will take Common Core Math 6, Common Core Math 7 and Common Core Math 8, accelerated students would take three years of math over the course of two years.
Then, those advanced students would take an advanced integrated course in 8th grade.
Students may have different subjects at different times but that will not be affected in terms of gaining college credit or being on the path of having Calculus or AP Calculus before college.
“The rigor is going to be bumped up for all students,” Lawson said adding that parents of advanced students may soon be hearing their children having trouble with a math problem instead of solving it easily.
San Diego Unified School District admits it has been late getting the message out to parents.
Educators have some final meetings scheduled to get everyone on the same page then a letter will be sent home to parents with one clear message as to how this will all come together by the end of the month.
The full implementation of Common Core standards will take place in the fall of 2014.