Mathematics
Proposed Change in Mathematics
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
image missingThe Virginia Standards of Learning are updated once every seven years by the Virginia Board of Education.  The Virginia Department of Education is currently reviewing what changes will be made in the Mathematics Standards of Learning.  The changes will be implemented in the 2025-2026 school year.

In one of the proposed changes, the course content of Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 will be blended into new courses.  Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 would then be eliminated from the Standards of Learning.  I support blending the content into new courses but oppose Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 removal from the Standards of Learning.  It would be worthwhile to keep the traditional courses because it would give students the option of taking the blended courses, the traditional courses, or both.  The more opportunities we can provide for our students, the better it is for our school system.

Another reason to keep the traditional courses is to make sure the new blended courses meet the needs of all students.  I see no reason to delete the traditional courses until the new blended courses have proven their worth.

The decision to remove or keep the traditional courses in the Standards of Learning will be made at the state level by the Virginia Department of Education and the Board of Education.  This decision does not fall under the authority of your local school board.  Therefore I have asked the Orange County School Board to pass a resolution requesting the Virginia Department of Education and Board of Education to keep Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 in the Standards of Learning.  The resolution was discussed at a school board meeting, but members asked for the decision to be delayed until more information is made available by the school administration.  I anticipate a vote on the resolution in July 2021.

If the Orange County School Board approves the resolution, I will reach out to members of the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School Joint School Board and request they consider a similar resolution.  If the school board votes on the resolution and it is not adopted, I will comply with the board's will and drop pursuit of this matter.