[Curriculum Directors] The new core, placement, and graduation

Cook, Tricia M. Tricia.Cook at schools.utah.gov
Tue Sep 4 08:22:02 MDT 2012


Please see the below message, which was sent to School Counselors on Friday, August 31. For questions, please contact Lillian Tsosie-Jensen (lillian.tsosie-jensen at schools.utah.gov<mailto:lillian.tsosie-jensen at schools.utah.gov>) or Diana Suddreth (diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov<mailto:diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov>).

From: "Tsosie-Jensen, Lillian" <Lillian.Tsosie-Jensen at schools.utah.gov<mailto:Lillian.Tsosie-Jensen at schools.utah.gov>>
Date: August 31, 2012 8:02:39 AM MDT
To: "Resource_SchC at lists.uen.org<mailto:Resource_SchC at lists.uen.org>" <Resource_SchC at lists.uen.org<mailto:Resource_SchC at lists.uen.org>>
Subject: The new core, placement, and graduation
School Counselors,

The new core should not be used as an excuse to hold back high ability students.  The USOE has been clear that the needs of all students should be met as we transition  to the core.  The high ability statement http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/Core/High-Ability-Students-and-the-Mathematics-Common-C.aspx provides guidance on placement for high ability students and makes clear that while in most cases students should be enrolled at their grade level, schools and districts should take advantage of the flexibility in the new core without creating gaps in learning by skipping courses.  This does NOT mean that students who have already taken courses must be forced back into lower level  work to meet graduation requirements.  In fact R277-700 provides a great deal of flexibility recognizing both old core and new core pathways through 2014-2015.  Furthermore, Section 2c of the high school requirements defines several alternate pathways to meet graduation requirements for mathematics including recognizing completion of Calculus as meeting graduation requirements regardless of the number of mathematics credits earned or the other courses taken.

Unfortunately, educators including counselors are, perhaps unwittingly, sending a message that Utah does not value high performance in mathematics or students who are capable of reaching high levels at a young age.  Parents are interpreting this to mean that their students must retake mathematics content their students have already mastered.  This is not the intention of USOE nor is it in the best interest of students,  which should be our first concern.  All students should be encouraged to enroll in classes that challenge them and lead to deeper and further mathematical knowledge and skill.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Diana Suddreth, STEM Coordinator
Secondary Mathematics
Teaching and Learning
Utah State Office of Education
250 E. 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
801-538-7794
diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov<mailto:diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov>

To subscribe to the Secondary Mathematics mailing list for emails about Utah mathematics events and professional development visit:  https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/secondarymath.

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