Poll: Going to the Board Meeting on Tuesday?

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5 responses to “Poll: Going to the Board Meeting on Tuesday?

  1. mike

    I believe that the overwhelming majority of the school district parents approves of this curriculum. Where was your protest when the curriculum was being instituted and there was publice meetings. We do live in a democracy where majority rules. Majority rules not minority. Your efforts should now go towards something worthy! The homeless and hungry would be a good start.

    • Jaime

      Mike,
      I don’t understand your argument. Are you saying that since the perceived majority is in favor of reformed math, it is the best program?

      If your argument is correct and majority rules then, Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn’t have spoken up against segregation. The Lone China Man wouldn’t have stood his ground in Tiananmen Square. And Rosa Parks would have moved to the back of the bus.

      It takes courage and conviction to stand against a crowd, and I am willing to bet, that of all the Parents that have educated themselves on the issue the majority believes that reform math is not the sole answer.

      “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~Mark Twain.

      P.S. It’s not a bad idea to start directing our efforts toward the homeless and hungry as there will surely be an uptick when many of these students graduate without the math skills to compete in this global economy.

    • Dan Beste

      “Mike wrote:
      I believe that the overwhelming majority of the school district parents approves of this curriculum.
      skip…
      Your efforts should now go towards something worthy”!

      I consider my children’s public education “worthy” of my time, support and a fight. With the implementation of the reform math curricula, my wife and I have now become their “math teachers” and if you are concerned about your child’s education, you had better consider becoming one also.

      When the overwhelming majority (pure speculation btw) “discover” their kids can’t utilize the standard algorithms to do basic math computations, their will be a lot more parents joining the “Math Wars” protest.

      Not only is the standards/discovery based pedagogy controversial, the 2 textbooks, TERC Investigations & Connected Mathematics 2, that the BCSD has adopted are considered by many, including UT, WA and CA, to be the worst of the reform based texts. The Idaho Dept of Education clearly sees the deficiencies in Connected Mathematics 2 and recommends it as a “RESOURCE ONLY”, this is a SUPPLEMENTAL PROGRAM! It doesn’t recognize it as a primary textbook as it only meets teaching the ISAT proficiency requirements at level 6/ 86%, rapidly declining at level 7/ 63% and deteriorating to a horrendous level 8/ 48%!

      This is a “NO Child Gets Ahead” curricula. It’s not that there is nothing worthwhile in the text, but if a child “gets the concept” in 10 minutes or even understood it last year, they still get to spend the next 4 weeks, or more, re-discovering the concept. It is such a waste of time, it’s absurd.

      It seems to me this wasted time could be much more efficiently used by the students that “get the concept” to work on developing their skill to fluently utilize the standard algorithms (increasing speed/fluency), dividing 1 by 4 doesn’t seem unrealistic without using a calculator. Work on solving more demanding real world conceptual word problems utilizing the standard algorithms (increasing speed/fluency). Exploring/learning/reviewing common math terminology and their uses, finding “common denominators” to add fractions for example. How about exploring the math properties like the “distributive property” and how to utilize them to manipulate equations.

      All of this is extensively covered and taught with traditional math text books and tested for proficiency on the ISAT. Connected Mathematics 2 not so much, if covered or mentioned at all. The State of Idaho recognizes CMP2 as a supplement ONLY because it doesn’t align with the ISAT and is “disconnected”. They certainly don’t try to pass it off as a “well balanced” program like the BCSD claims.

      TERC Investigations unfortunately isn’t a lot better, but students do get quite good at counting on their fingers and using tally marks to deal with multi-digit computations. When it comes to dividing multi-digit numbers by multi-digit numbers, students had better know where there calculator is if time is a factor.

      I’ll be at the meeting tomorrow night, I can’t wait to hear how the district chose, not 1, but 2 of the worst text books available. I’ve got kids involved in this waste of taxpayer $$. The quicker this reform math experiment gets placed on the resource shelf, the better for everyone.

  2. Mike, do you mean the “public” meetings that were so poorly advertised that Kathy Baker is the only parent I know of who happened to stumble upon one of them? They were so poorly advertised that no one knew about them. The parents I talk to ask, “Were there public meetings before these books were purchased? I never heard of them.”

    Oh, and they were on “public display” after these meetings … for three whole days. No one knew about the meetings, no one knew the books were available to look at, and three days isn’t time to make an informed opinion anyway. The fact is that School District administrators made no concerted effort to inform parents about these math texts. And now these same administrators are angry that we parents are scrutinizing their work. Last time I checked, the tax payers of this county pay School District employee salaries. District administrators are accountable to parents and taxpayers. We are scrutinizing the work of those who work for us, and we will keep scrutinizing.

  3. Alison Ruggeri

    I agree with Dan. The overwhelming majority of parents I have talked to have opinions based solely on what the district has been telling them. I believe the overwhelming majority of parents who have taken time to independently look into TERC/ Investigations are alarmed and worried.
    Unfortunately that is a small number.

    And where was I when parents were given the opportunity to have input? Regrettably, I was at home assuming the BCSD would be choosing a curriculum that set the bar high for our kids. In the past, this district has had some of the highest standards in the state. Well, you know what they say about assuming….

    But it wouldn’t have mattered if a thousand parents showed up. At that point they had narrowed it down to three curriculum. All three of the choices were “reform” math texts and in fact, Investigations was the best of the three! I do not know how many they looked at before narrowing it down to these three but parents were not invited to have a say in what curriculum was originally considered. And that is what violated school district policy.

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