Montgomery schools’ decision to slow pace of math courses divides parents

One recent night, Mackenzie Stassel was cramming for a quiz in her advanced math course in Montgomery County. Her review of the complicated topics followed hours of other homework. Eventually she started to nod off at the table. It was 11:15 p.m. Mackenzie is a sixth-grader.

There will be fewer such nights in the future for many Montgomery students. Last month, Maryland’s largest school system announced that it would significantly curtail its practice of pushing large numbers of elementary and middle school students to skip grade levels in math. Parents had questioned the payoff of acceleration; teachers had said students in even the most advanced classes were missing some basics, reports the Washington Post

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Global firm to pay Montgomery, Md., schools millions for elementary curriculum

Montgomery County Public Schools could soon become a global brand, the Washington Post reports. The school system will be paid $2.25 million to develop an elementary school curriculum that an education company will augment and sell around the world. The school system will also receive a small percentage of sales revenue once the curriculum is completed. The deal, rare in size and scope in the United States, was approved by the school board 6 to 2 Tuesday. Under the terms, Pearson, the world’s largest education publisher, will acquire the expertise of one of the nation’s top school systems and the right to use its name and its top employees as sales tools. “I tend to look at it from the standpoint that we are broke,” Montgomery Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said. “You have to have new ways of doing things when you don’t have money…”

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