Comments, ideas and concerns about the math curricula at Andover Public Schools

Friday, March 16, 2007

School Committee Candidates Debate

At last night's League of Women Voters debate all three School Committee candidates talked about excellence in our schools.

The first question from the LWV (not an audience question) addressed "unmet needs" at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Dick Collins specifically mentioned advanced math in the middle schools. Debbie Silberstein talked about challenging all learners and addressing the wide range of learning styles. Bob Coffill mentioned the increase in math tutoring of our students.

A question from the audience: 16.7% of the student population is special needs. How do we avoid ignoring peer students and gifted and talented? Who advocates for these students? Again all three candidates talked about addressing the needs of the complete student population, using professional development to aide the teachers' ability to differentiate instruction within the classroom, and to ensure that the gifted learners are not left behind by MCAS emphasis on "proficiency".

It is encouraging that this topic is part of the debate platform for all three candidates. Math has been raised several times in the context of the School Committee election. It seems that all of the candidates are aware of and are concerned about the issue.

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