Montgomery county to change elementary and middle school curriculum


MCPS released a proposal in August for a new elementary and middle school curriculum after an audit found flaws in the Common Core 2.0 curriculum. The proposal will be finalized by January 2019.

By Lukas Troost

MCPS released a proposal in August for a new elementary and middle school curriculum after an audit by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Educational Policy last March found teaching and content flaws in the current Common Core 2.0 curriculum. While the proposal hasn’t been finalized yet, its release marks the first step in MCPS’ plan to roll out the new curriculum in 2019.

The new curriculum aims to assist students with disabilities and English Language Learners, as well as balance the use of traditional, hard copy based materials with digital ones, MCPS Chief Academic Officer Maria Navarro wrote in a press release.

Some feel the curriculum was introduced too soon, with curriculum 2.0 implemented just under ten years ago.

“I was surprised and a bit frustrated to learn that MCPS was going to phase [curriculum 2.0] out,” Pyle PTSA president Karen Roman said. “I think that MCPS should have given teachers a few more years to fine-tune it in their classrooms.”

Curriculum 2.0 was designed to ensure students are not only prepared content-wise for college, but also proficient in 21st century skills such as critical thinking.

The report, however, found several problems associated with Curriculum 2.0, including a failure to meet Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards.

For instance, the report found that teachers made significant mathematical errors in 18 percent of classrooms. Students were also found to be reading texts below their grade level approximately 50 percent of the time in class. Many teachers also used their own materials rather than those included in the curriculum. As a result, the review also called for the purchase of materials not produced by MCPS in an effort to have instructional resources readily available for students.

Despite all of these changes to the lessons and schools as a whole, administrators say they will continue their job of supporting students and staff.

“With any new curriculum, we would hope that it prepares students for high school and beyond,” Pyle Middle School assistant principal Scott Gitchell said.