This change is also what frustrates parents in Montgomery. Even if the new curriculum is more difficult and requires more analytical thinking, there will still be students who can work beyond the already heightened expectations. There isn’t a clear path for those students, for whom a gifted program or magnet school might not be the right option.
Under previous curriculum standards, students learned many concepts in one grade and then often repeated them the next. With the new curriculum, this repetition has mostly been eliminated. Students spend much more time on fewer concepts in a single grade with just one opportunity to learn it, making it harder to skip ahead.
Instead of going down the hall to a more advanced math class, for the most part, students of all abilities now work in a single classroom in small groups.
In Segovia’s class, small groups rotated through workstations, doing a different activity every 10 minutes. all related to multiplying by five. They independently filled out math worksheets, sat at a computer or played a dice game.They also took turns sitting with Segovia, who created three different math lessons for the day. She designed each lesson to cater to different groups of students, based on their ability.