Some time back I took an interest in Math Investigations, another new way to teach math to children. As near as I could tell, this newfangled technique did not have much to recommend it. Unfortunately, Prince William County Schools had adopted this technique. So when a group of parents objected with much more force than I could manage, I assumed the role of cheerleader. These energetic parents eventually got the issue before the School Board and forced a compromise. The School Board directed our school administrators to adopt a blended approach. See here. (Note that at the time I checked the link to the School Boards motion was broken. Hopefully, that will get fixed.)
So what is the current status of our school’s math program? The proponents of Math Investigations claim to be data driven. Do we have any data for the last school year? I am not sure. I just know I did not find any on the school’s website. The PWC Education Reform Blog, however, expresses a more definite opinion.
The following letter was forwarded to us from one of our contributors. It was sent to Milt Johns, Chairman of the PWC School Board. I have to say that I agree with the sentiments expressed in the letter. It is mid-December and the district still hasn’t presented the elementary school mathematics performance data. As the report summarizing that data isn’t on the agenda for the next board meeting, it’s not likely we’ll see it until January 2010. (continued at When Will the School Board Demand Answers?)
It is December 2009, and we don’t have last year’s performance data? On an issue that raised all kinds of controversy? What’s up with that? If you have kids in the school, you may wish to ask.
Parents have been asking for the data since the beginning of the school year. The school board not only dropped the ball with this issue but also on their March ’09 vote on balance. Teachers’ hands are still tied & the ongoing professional development conducted by the Superintendent’s central staff have teachers in lock step w/the MI-infested pacing guides. Nothing’s changed & this district’s lack of transparency is growing at an alarming rate. Time to clean house!