Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Local 6th grader told he cannot take 8th grade algebra: School says boy would be truant

Chula Vista Elementarty School District supports teachers who teach math at only one level; a good teacher can teach at several levels at once.

Local 6th grader told he cannot take 8th grade algebra: School says boy would be truant
Parents say son passed algebra readiness test
Joe Little
10 News

A Chula Vista 6th grader has been told he will be truant if he goes to an 8th grade algebra class instead of his own grade level class.

10News was contacted by Myssie McCann shortly after she was told her 11-year-old son Grant would be punished for not attending Salt Creek Elementary's math classes.

"Never dawned on me in a million years that Chula Vista Elementary School District would say, 'No, you can't do this,'" McCann told 10News. "I was told by the principal [Lalaine Perez] that she was obligated to tell me that if I pursued him taking the Eastlake Middle algebra class, my son would be marked truant on those days."

McCann said Grant has excelled at math since 2nd grade. She said last year, the then-5th grader was placed in a 6th grade math course. This summer, McCann said he passed an 8th grade algebra readiness test.

Grant's parents contacted the nearby Eastlake Middle School, where Grant will be going for 7th and 8th grades to see if he can attend algebra classes. He would then go back to Salt Creek for all his other courses.

McCann said she petitioned the school district. She contacted 10News after she was told her son would be marked as "truant."

"I was not happy," McCann said. "I told her that was unacceptable."

Grant was not happy either.

"It would be challenging for me because when I'm not challenged, math is actually boring," the soon-to-be 6th grader said.

Grant's father is John McCann, who sits on the Sweetwater Union Board of Trustees.

Monday evening, a spokesman for the Chula Vista Elementary School District told 10News the district does not have a process in place for students like Grant to take classes out of district.

He said the district is looking at it and will make a decision on Tuesday just in time for school, which begins Wednesday.

The school district released the following statement to 10News:

"We were asked to make special considerations for the child of a Board Member in a neighboring district. We believe it is wiser to establish a process that would benefit any student in that circumstance, rather than just a one-time exception for the benefit of the child of an elected official. The public does not like special considerations for elected officials. So we will work with our counterparts in Sweetwater to establish a process for independent study agreements that would allow for any qualifying students in the elementary district to take classes in the middle or high school district. Our student-based decisions will be backed up by data. They will not be made on word of mouth or handshake agreements with elected officials in another district."


Greg Didier said...

You (CVESD) slow moving dinosaur. Help the kid first, independent of who parents are. You should do all you can to promote higher learning. I wish I was your boss so I could fire your stupid ass and hire someone more concerned about educating our best children.

Maura Larkins said...

In my experience, the biggest problem in math instruction is that students tend to be pushed to learn formulas without understanding basic concepts. Most parents and teachers think it's admirable for kids to learn math by memorization of facts and formulas even when the child does not understand basic concepts. I suspect it might be in this child's interest to spend more time deepening his understanding rather than plowing ahead with rote learning. If he is a prodigy, then it would make sense to send him off to a different school. But he might end up hitting a brick wall if he's pushed too fast. It will be demoralizing to him if he has to go back later and learn basic concepts later.