Keeping Schools Smart & the Revised Curriculum
Last week the Voorhees Township Public Schools released a new Curriculum to align with requirements of the New Jersey Department of Education. We have reviewed the released Curriculum and have the following comments.
Currently and within the revised Curriculum, Voorhees Public Schools are relying on a video-based curriculum to teach World Language education on the elementary school level. Many parents and students report that these videos have not been routinely shown in their classrooms. However, even if the video-based education was being implemented consistently across Voorhees, the Keeping Schools Smart slate believes the World Language programming to be insufficient. If elected, we would advocate for the district to provide in-person language instruction for every student K-8.
There has been much fear-mongering from special interest groups around the 2020 sex educations standards that have caused many parents to feel worry and concern. Upon review of the actual documents, we find nothing objectionable about the 2020 sex education standards or the proposed curriculum around Physical Education and Health. We stand for comprehensive sex education that is medically accurate, age and developmentally appropriate and find nothing in the Curriculum that conflicts with this stance. We believe sex education is important for teaching bodily autonomy, thwarting abuse and intimate partner violence, and promoting overall health and healthy relationships. Moreover, parents and guardians who object to their students receiving sex education have a legally protected right to opt-out of the instruction and the Voorhees Public Schools have made clear they will respect and implement a clear opt-out system. We will continue to monitor for updates on specific lesson plans once they are provided by the Voorhees Public Schools. These are expected to be released by the middle of September. This study highlight the importance of comprehensive sex education: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33059958/
Based on the data we’ve seen, math performance has been declining in Voorhees. Some of this decline is likely attributable to the pandemic, but performance had been on the decline before the pandemic as well. We can’t be certain about other root cause(s) of the decline and would aim to investigate this further if elected. However, we are of the mind that there are gaps in a) comprehension and b) parents’ understanding of common core math to a degree sufficient enough to support their children with math work at home. If elected, we would endeavor to tackle the math issues on both of these fronts.
Moreover, if we are chosen to serve on the Board of Education:
We would aim to create a smoother transition from VMS to high school and ensure all 8th graders are prepared for the rigors and demands of high school upon graduation.
We plan to advocate for investing in STEM programming to ensure Voorhees learners are sufficiently trained and exposed to- as well as ready for- academic and professional opportunities.
We also plan to advocate for program development to support students to develop better studying, organizational, and time management skills.We would support an increased investment in and access to early childhood education for Voorhees families.
You can review the Curriculum on the Voorhees Public Schools website here: https://voorhees-public.rubiconatlas.org/.../View/Calendars