A Russian emigre’s charter school is attracting students in Marlborough, Massachusetts, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Advanced Math and Science Academy students in sixth and seventh grade read The Iliad and The Odyssey and start studying algebra, geometry, physics and chemistry.
“”By this age, the brain is ready to absorb highly abstract information,” (Julia Sigalovsky) says. “If kids can play Dungeons and Dragons, if they can understand the universe of Lord of the Rings, where the world is created from a few rules, then they can comprehend physics, where everything is based on three of Newton’s laws, or Euclidean geometry, where everything is based on five basic axioms.
Critics say the school draws students from too wide an area, not just from its nearby districts, and that it’s too rigorous for low achievers.
Several nearby towns have sued to overturn the state Board of Education’s approval of the academy’s charter. The case is scheduled to be heard by the state Supreme Court next fall.
Essentially, alleges Sheldon Berman, superintendent of schools in neighboring Hudson, “This is an elite, private school operating at taxpayers’ expense…. By our review, it’s a school that functionally discriminates.”
“Functionally discriminates” means that the school hasn’t lowered expectations for low achievers. Anyone can enroll.