Our fight to bring rigor back to the PWC Mathematics program has focused on TERC’s Math Investigations in Elementary Schools. Unfortunately, the battleground has expanded.
We have it on good authority that PWCS will likely move to recommend Connected Mathematics (CMP) as the primary text in Middle Schools during the next textbook adoption process, which won’t begin for another year. CMP is MI’s MS equivalent, and the evidence that it provides little academic value to students is vast and growing.
We suspect, but have not been able to confirm, that CMP will make an appearance as a primary text in selected MS math classes this Fall. The district is pushing CMP on teachers, has reportedly obtained and distributed “free” copies of CMP’s instructors guides for every PWC MS math teacher, and openly lists CMP as the leading or secondary instructional resource in the Curriculum Framework for many standards.
What can we do?
(1) Ask the Principal directly if CMP will be used in your children’s math classrooms and to what capacity, and let us know what you hear back. As a parent you have a right to know what materials will be used to teach your child and to oppose the use of those materials if you believe they aren’t adequate. None of us would hesitate to make our feelings known if the district began teaching our kids how to put condoms on cucumbers, why should we be silent if the district is considering a math program we think is unacceptable?
(2) Begin working on your school board member. We’ve got a long time before the next math textbook adoption process begins (about a year), but we need to be prepared and we need to educate them.
(3) Consider running for school board from your district.
It takes 5 votes to approve a recommendation by the district – which means we need 4 to ensure that CMP doesn’t get approved. Whether the district is able to get 5 votes or note depends largely on when the vote is taken. If the vote is with the current board the we suspect Johns, Trenum, and Bell will be opposed to CMP with Lattin, Richardson, and Ramirez in favor. That leaves Otaigbe and Covington on the fence. If the vote is taken after a new board is seated, well then what textbooks and instructional materials each candidate supports will play a major role in whether they get elected. The more candidates we have who oppose fuzzy math, the more likely we are to get rid of it once and for all in PWC.