One Step Ahead of the Train Wreck

For your reading please over this holiday weekend, I given you Barry Garelick’s latest masterpiece – One Step Ahead of the Train Wreck.

The frightening thing for PWCS parents, EDM is light years better than Investigations.

If your child is in PWCS and you are concerned about the missing content in your child’s math program, then you should read this article. Just filling the gaps piecemeal isn’t enough. You need to take over teaching math at home.

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3 Responses to “One Step Ahead of the Train Wreck”

  1. Cannot Say Says:

    You’ve been promised a “blended” approach to teaching math. It’s a PWC math dept. “word game” again. Teachers have been given a book of worksheet masters they can use. They were told that practice sheets could ONLY be sent home with a student who was struggling with a single concept as presented in MI. The worksheets and their methods can NOT be used in the classroom and they may not be assigned to all students. No direction instruction or deviation from MI in the classroom is allowed. There is NO “blended approach” allowed. Teachers are NOT allowed to change up their teaching strategies based upon student understanding. It has been reemphasized that they are to teach MI, and teach it strictly according to the pacing guide.

    • jackie4678 Says:

      Cannot Say: Not sharing this with our school board members is doing yourself, your colleagues, your students and your parents a disservice to put it mildly. Although I’ve raised concerns with our bd members re: professional development/ISTs/etc. prior to the vote in favor of blended and since – I’ve yet to receive a response from 8 of the 9 members.

      Perhaps a teacher’s note from an alias email account and others following suit would open their eyes to what’s really going on in this County. Please encourage your colleagues to speak up – countless other school districts actually rely on the feedback of ALL their teachers … imagine that!

      Here’s an excerpt of a letter sent from a k-12 curric. math specialist from an Ohio school district to Frederick, MD & PWCS’s school board members:

      “There is really nothing consistent about the approach behind the program. In fact, our teachers found themselves becoming the “re-inventors of math. They spent a tremendous amount of time developing their own systems and connections for how to approach different math problems – to the point where everyone was doing something different, even for a simple addition problem. The most common complaints from the teachers included: the lack of assessment pieces, the vagueness of what was actually being taught, no book, no direct instruction, difficulty telling what the kids actually knew and parental complaints. Parents were totally lost with this program. Math tends to be a difficult subject for our parents to begin with, but with Investigations we found it even harder for families to help support their children at home. Parents could not follow the homework and the support for them was limited.

      The students began falling further and further behind with their basic math competencies skills. This became very apparent when they reached the middle school level and as scores began declining on state and local assessments. It wasn’t until we did away with Math Investigations that we began seeing drastic overall improvements. Although I have heard that some districts have been successful with Math Investigations, it has been few and far between. Please take this letter as a simple plea to do as much research and data analysis on the impact to student learning, as well as on the series itself, before making such an important decision. I would hate for you to experience the same negative and lasting effects as we did here at ****** Schools.”

      Mind you, this is a much smaller school district with far less to manage than PWCS – less teacher buy-in & fidelity to work out. As another district put it “you don’t get much bang for your buck with Investigations.” And gosh knows how many bucks have gone into this program to date! Professional development classes alone over the summer, “Investigations in the Classroom”, to be conducted by TERC for all 5th grade teachers and others who wish to attend, will cost the taxpayers a wee bit under $100k – and teachers will get paid to attend these classes as well. This summer ALONE!!

      5th grade teachers should join forces and advise they do not want the State unapproved 5th grade MI textbooks/workbooks as the core curriculum THIS FALL! Easier said than done and yes teachers fear retaliation, but power in numbers is our ace in the hole at this juncture. You can’t go wrong there!

  2. Ed Says:

    Why?
    What line has CK swallowed hook, line and sinker to get to this point.
    I have been led to believe that she USED to be a good teacher.

    I wonder what happened..


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