Please provide a response to issues raised in the Bethesda Beat article on new curriculum.

Question#: 22


MCPS is a unique school system that is racially and culturally diverse.  In addition, many of the students are second language learners, identified as gifted, and/or have special needs.  In developing the Request for Proposal (RFP), the curricular needs of these learners was described.  In addition, the RFP called for interventions and supports, valid and reliable assessments, a balance of print and digital resources, parent resources, and culturally relevant materials.  This is a tall order for any one curricula to achieve.  There is no such thing as a perfect curriculum that will meet the needs of every student.  Our goal was to find literacy and mathematics curriculum that was ideal for most students in MCPS, recognizing that for some, additional interventions or supplements would be needed.

It has been determined by the MCPS Office of Special Education that the recommended mathematics and literacy products have strong Tier I and Tier II interventions embedded.  However, Tier III interventions, the most intensive type, will need to be provided outside of the new products for some students. 

Additionally, all of the mathematics products reviewed for purchase are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and therefore, only provide a scope and sequence to Algebra by Grade 9, whereas most students in MCPS take Algebra in Grade 8 and some in Grade 7.  As a result, MCPS will take one school year to collaborate with the mathematics vendors and develop a plan for getting some students to Algebra by Grade 7 and most to Algebra by Grade 8.  In the interim, students in Grades 4–8 who take accelerated mathematics courses will be instructed using MCPS Curriculum 2.0 Mathematics for the 2019–2020 school year.