BHS Math

I. Since we created Berkeley High Parent Advocate, by far the greatest number of comments and questions we’ve received have been about the new math curriculum at Berkeley High: Math 1, 2, and 3 (with Advanced sections of each). Many students are struggling with a curriculum that provides no outside resources except “look it up on the internet.” Other parents are concerned about the process for determining if a student is eligible for Advanced Math. Our team has been working to create a dialogue between the math department and the community, including advocating for nationally validated surveys in every class and a special committee consisting of administrators, teachers, students and parents to evaluate ways to improve the current situation.

The Berkeley High PTSA held a very informative forum on April 18, 2018 where parents were able to ask questions of the lead teachers and Vice Principal for math. A summary of the meeting can be found on the PTSA website. Here is a link to the handout described in the summary on recent D/F rates in Berkeley High math.

We are also putting together a Parent’s Guide to Berkeley High Math, based on the responses to our survey, past parent experiences, and input from you (contact us to give suggestions for areas you’d like to see addressed).

II. Of great concern are the recent D/F for the new Mathematics Vision Project curriculum:

Semester 2, 2016-2017              Semester 1, 2017-2018

Math 1           28.4%                                            25.4%

Math 2           25.2%                                            26.7%

Math 3           not offered yet                            18.1%

III. EdReports has done a detailed review of the Mathematics Vision Project (MVP) curriculum that is currently being taught at Berkeley High:
Please note items 3m, 3o, and 3p.ii that discuss how this curriculum partially meets expectations to gather information about students’ prior knowledge and provide guidance for remediation. Obviously with the achievement gap, this is crucial for Berkeley High.
The other main area is 3r-y, which is “doesn’t meet expectations for differentiated instruction for diverse learners” which again is key for Berkeley High. As secretary of the AC Advisory Council, we heard from many parents whose students were struggling with the lack of support materials and teacher guidance, because the student was supposed to “look it up online” or “on Wikipedia” and figure it out on his/her own. This may be an ideal to work towards, but many Berkeley High students, especially in ninth grade, would benefit from a more supportive approach.


IV. Finally–don’t forget to share your thoughts through our survey. We have 130 responses and counting!

****Berkeley High Parent Math Survey

Berkeley High Parent Advocate is conducting a survey of student (and parent) experiences with Berkeley High School math:  The survey is anonymous and will take about 10 minutes. We will use these responses to advocate for strengthened math instruction via feedback to the school. We welcome participation from past, present and future Berkeley High parents. Please share with anyone you think might be interested. Thank you for your help!