A change is being made to next year’s school curriculum surrounding math and science. The proposed idea is going to change the prospect of having separate categories of math, and instead, having integrated diverse math classes, divided up by Math 1, Math 2, and Math 3. Science classes will also push biology up to an only 9th grade honors class and a requirement by sophomore year.
The new math classes aren’t an entirely new concept, as other cities have been integrating math classes this way since 2014. Places such as Lexington and Newton have had it since, and have seen an increase in Math MCAS scores.
It is reported by the Journal for Research in Mathematics that students who learned a blend of math, often outperformed those who learned the topics individually. This is due to the brain’s ability to foster connections, and being able to revisit topics instead of using-then-losing it. The brain that is associated with memory often forgets concepts that are not continuously used, which is a reason many parents want their children to receive extra learning during the summer, so as to not forget. With the new curriculum, students will be learning a little bit of Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 every year therefore, they would not be able to forget.
Principal Edward Lombardi hopes to see an increase in test scores adding that it’s a “more sensible way to go through the curriculum.” He has seen such results in his time at Lawrence as well.
The biology changes would only affect CP classes. Instead of attending a biology CP class, many freshmen might be referred to an environmental science class so as to be “caught up” with the prerequisites for biology. Lombardi said that there is a “huge maturity leap from ninth to tenth grade” and an environmental class would be beneficial to those who need it.
With this, the Biology MCAS will be pushed back for sophomores.
Many other schools in Massachusetts have been doing this as well. Carlisle has been using this system for a while, and as students enter high school to this new curriculum, there has been definite increases in MCAS scores.
Continuing on, Lombardi may promote a more productive system to teach students at MHS, tailored to fit the incoming students. The future of MHS’s education may more resemble schools such as Lexington, and Newton, and other well populated areas known for their quality of education.