One of TERC Investigations many shortfalls is the fact that it just doesn’t teach division well. In fact, it barely teaches division at all. The division materials covered in 5th grade are all largely supplemental. Long division, by the way, is covered in a single 75 minute class. PWCS must be extremely thankful that calculators are allowed on the SOL exam in 5th grade.
Over the weekend we began hearing reports of an interesting letter sent home to parents of PWCS 5th grade students. The letter states the following:
Parents,Today your child took the attached assessment on basic division facts. They were given 2 minutes to complete as may problems as they could. After 2 minutes, I had them switch to a pen and complete the remaining problems. Please talk with your child about how they did. I would like you to discuss where there are strengths and weaknesses in your child’s division. Please develop a plan for improvement with your child below.I_________________________(child’s name), with the support of my parents, plan to_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.to learn my basic division facts.Student Signature_________________________________Parents Signature_________________________________
Please return this completed form on XXXX
Know what? Division facts (like 81 / 9) are basic core competencies our children should have acquired and mastered in 3rd grade – according to the state standards of learning and the PWCS curriculum. It is inexcusable for any child to still be struggling with his or her division facts in 5th grade.
This ought to be warning sign to any parents with children in PWCS or any school district that follows TERC Investigations. After close to 6 years of TERC your child will not be able to complete the simple arithmatic expected of a 3rd grader. If you want your children to be able to complete a college level mathematics class, or even remotely envision a future in a math dependent field for them, then you need to hire a math tutor or start teaching math at home.