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Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI)

In the news recently, families may have seen information about possible changes to the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning. Some questions have arisen regarding the elimination of certain accelerated math courses prior to 11th grade as well the proposal of new mathematics standards. As a result, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) recently provided a media release with clarifying information regarding the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI). The information is provided below and can be found on the VDOE website at  https://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/mathematics/vmpi/index.shtml.

According to NBC News 12 out of Richmond, the Virginia state superintendent, Dr. James Lane, stated, “Families do not need to worry about accelerated math courses being eliminated within schools. If a student needs an accelerated pathway, they will absolutely get it.”

Lane says they are looking for feedback and suggestions from the community as VDOE continues to work on the VMPI. They are asking anyone interested to email vdoe.mathematics@doe.virginia.gov. The proposed timeline would not implement new Mathematics Standards of Learning in classrooms until 2025-2026.

What does this mean for Hampton City Schools (HCS)? HCS is committed to providing all students differentiated pathways in mathematics based on individual student needs and interests. Additionally, HCS will continue to provide a rigorous curriculum in all subjects, to include mathematics, to prepare students for higher levels of math in both middle and high school as well as post-secondary education and careers.   

From the Virginia Department of Education, released April 23, 2021:

What is VMPI?

  1. TheVirginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative (VMPI) is a joint initiative of the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to consider how to modernize and update math instruction to Virginia’s K-12 students to prepare them all to be life ready and succeed in their post-secondary pursuits.
  2. VMPI is a proposal to modernize and update Virginia’s mathematics curriculum in grades K-12 to align instruction with the essential knowledge and skills students need to succeed in the 21st-century economy. The proposals would update Virginia's Mathematics Standards of Learning and Virginia’s public school divisions would then be responsible for creating courses and designing curricula to implement those state standards, as they do now.
  3. VMPI maintains Virginia’s rigorous mathematics instruction for all students and strives to provide all students with opportunities to receive high quality, highly-relevant math instruction that is tailored to their specific post-secondary goals.
  4. The implementation of VMPI would still allow for student acceleration in mathematics content according to ability and achievement. It does not dictate how and when students take specific courses. Those decisions remain with students and school divisions based on individualized learning needs.
  5. The traditional high school pathway culminating in the study of Calculus or other advanced courses is not being eliminated. Additional course pathways will include engaging semester courses in statistics, data science, modeling, design, and logic, among others.
  6. Local school divisions will continue to have flexibility to create courses aligned to the standards to meet the needs of all students; and provide opportunities for all students to advance through the curriculum based on their learning needs. School divisions will also be able to offer advanced sections and acceleration through the courses.
  7. VMPI will increase rigor by integrating mathematical content and concepts, emphasizing reasoning and problem solving, and providing a highly-relevant experience for all students. It will also include a new focus on statistical literacy, essential for success in a data-rich world.
  8. VMPI proposes math standards in kindergarten through high school that focus on reasoning, real-world problem solving, communication, and conceptual connections while shifting away from an emphasis on computation and routine problem practice.
  9. The VMPI initiative imagines math instruction for students that integrates existing math content into blended courses for students typically in grades 8-10.
  10. The content from Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II is not being eliminated by VMPI, but rather the content of these courses will be blended into a seamless progression of connected learning. This encourages students to connect mathematical concepts and develop a much deeper and more relevant understanding of each concept within its context and relevance.
  11. VMPI envisions additional and innovative opportunities for students to access content that is not currently widely available to all students. This foundation can then be built upon with specific coursework tailored to post-secondary goals.
  12. The foundation of VMPI’s integrated mathematics content approach is common in many countries, including in countries that are our chief global competitors.
  13. VMPI is aligned with research and supported by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

What is the timeline for implementing VMPI?

  1. VMPI is in the development stage, and the changes being proposed are under discussion with a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Board of Education. No final decisions have been made at this time.
  2. The changes being considered as a part of VMPI will ultimately be decided upon and put into effect with the regularly scheduled 2023 update to the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning. These standards cover grades K-12 and are updated once every 7 years by the Board of Education. As with all new mathematics standards, there will be many opportunities for public comment and revisions.
  3. Any changes made to the Mathematics Standards of Learning would be scheduled for classroom level implementation in the 2025-2026 school year.

How can I learn more or provide feedback?

  1. VMPI community meetings being offered this spring are intended to provide initial information regarding the initiative, but also be a venue in which feedback can be collected. The schedule for the sessions is:
    1. Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - Why Change Mathematics Instruction?
    2. Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - How does VMPI affect Virginia Children’s Futures?
    3. Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - Essential Concepts in Grades 8 - 10
    4. Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - Advanced Pathways in Grades 11 - 12
  2. All sessions will be live streamed on the VDOE YouTube Channel beginning at 6:30 p.m., with a 20-minute presentation from members of the VMPI Planning Committees, followed by a question and answer session for the community.
  3. Participants may submit questions to be addressed during the sessions through the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative form.
  4. The Virginia Department of Education welcomes feedback via email at vdoe.mathematics@doe.virginia.gov as the Virginia Mathematics Pathways Initiative moves forward.