What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Middle schoolers in Detroit’s main school district have been taking pre-algebra classes that have “virtually no relationship” to the state’s mathematics standards.
Students in kindergarten through third grade have been taught with an English curriculum so packed with unnecessary lessons that they don’t have time to get a firm grasp of foundational reading skills.
And an entire district of more than 50,000 students has been using textbooks that are so old and out of date that it’s likely that most students, for years, have been taking the state’s annual high-stakes exam without having seen much of the material they’re being tested on.
The test results can nonetheless be used to make potentially devastating decisions, like whether schools should be forced to close.
In short, the auditors who came to Detroit last fall to review the district’s curriculum found that students here have been set up to fail.
“It’s an injustice to the children of Detroit,” said Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
But while this might sound like just another example of dysfunction in a long-troubled district, curriculum experts say that Detroit is among hundreds — possibly thousands — of districts across the country that are using textbooks and educational materials that are not aligned to state standards.
Detroit is now making a fix. The district plans to spend between $1 million and $3 million in the coming year to purchase new reading and math materials.
But most districts don’t do curriculum audits like Detroit has done. And curriculum experts say that most districts don’t realize the materials they’re using aren’t very good.
Read the full article on curriculum audit in Detroit by
Erin Einhorn at Chalkbeat