Seems the PWC school system and school board have developed a nasty habit of misrepresenting the truth about the Investigations Math Program. From overstating test results, to misleading the public about the programs content, to overtly lying about the cost of materials – lying seems to be the name of the game in PWCS.
Since the truth seems to be in short supply in PWCS, here are the actual facts and data about the Investigations math program you won’t hear mentioned by anyone associated with PWCS. As lying to support an agenda has become so commonplace among PWCS staff, and the school board appears disinclined to view staff’s statements with an appropriate degree of skepticism, this page will be updated with the actual data and facts in an effort to provide you with the truth.
Calculators aren’t an Integral part of the PWCS Math Curriculum
But only if by curriculum you mean what the students actually learn. Because, if by curriculum you mean what the students actually learn, then the PWCS curriculum is all about calculators.
Following State Statutes is Optional for PWCS Staff
Various members of the Teach Math Right team have been assailed by school board members for calling attention to the fact that PWCS employees failed to follow state statutes when selecting Investigations. We’ve been accused of slandering PWCS employees. The only problem is that to be guilty of slander you have to have told a lie, and our noses aren’t growing.
The folks in the PWCs math department, well apparently they’ve decided that state statutes are optional.
Following repeated questions from PWC parents, the Attorney General of the state of Virginia reviewed the applicable laws and issued his opinion that the state statutes do actually apply to PWCS. A request has been submitted to the State Board of Education to investigate whether PWCS did or did not follow the law when it selected Investigations.
Has Investigations Improved Test Scores for Prince William County Students?
Based on statements by PWCS you’d think our test scores were remarkable, that test scores prior to Investigations mandate were horrible, and that minority and disadvantaged students have excelled under Investigations.
Of all of the lies PWCS has perpetuated, the lies about student performance are perhaps the most devious. You see, since Investigations was mandated pass rates are down among minority and disadvantaged students. Pass rates for disadvantaged students are down at 63% of PWCS schools. Pass rates for LEP students are down in 60% of schools. Pass rates for Hispanic students are down in 56% of schools. The achievement gap has increased for 2/3 of our minority students, since Investigations was mandated.
These are our most at risk populations – the one’s who have neither the time nor the resources to hire private tutors or pay for private education programs. Yet PWCS continues to lie to them and claim that test scores for their children are improving. That’s shameful.
For articles with test scores by school and district, go to the PWCS Test Scores Page.
Links to Articles dispelling the lies spread by PWCS staff regarding test scores can be found here below.
- Pass Rates Drop in Woodbridge District
- What Wasn’t said About Woodbridge test scores
- PWCS’ Not So Terrible, Horrible, Awful Test Data before Investigations was mandated.
- Achievement Gap is Getting Bigger.
TERC’s much touted “Evidence of Success” includes a list of school districts using Investigations with great success. To bad more than 60% of them have dropped or are dropping Investigations.
Then of course there’s TERC’s own research citing academic achievement under the Investigations program. To bad the US. Dept. of Education found TERC’s studies to be so lacking in scientific merit that they couldn’t be reasonably relied upon.
How about that math survey? Based on statements and reports by PWCS, you’d think the math survey demonstrated overwhelming support from county residents for the math program. Click hereto see the actual data, obtained by FOIA, which PWCS chose not to present.
A Blended Curriculum
PWCS has repeatedly asserted in public that the current curriculum is blended – that it mixes traditional and reform math to create a cohesive blend of approaches that best meets the needs of all students.
Yet in response to requests for the actual lessons which provide that blend, we’ve been given links to the pacing guides on the PWCS web site. Documents on the PWCS web site state that blending of the curriculum is not recommended because it “causes confusion” and results in students becoming “frustrated”. Teachers are discouraged from picking an choosing among the Investigations lessons because that would compromise the integrity of the program.
Click here to learn just how little blending there is in our program.
Click here to learn whether it is even advisable to blend Investigations with other materials.