Are Public Comments Irrelevant to PWCS For Math Textbook Adoption?

A friend of mine just forwarded an email he received yesterday from the school his children attend. The email reminded parents that math textbook adoption was going on right now and encouraged them to review the textbooks and submit their comments so that the adoption committees could consider them.

My friend sent the email to me because he knows I served on the elementary committee. Yes, served. You see the elementary committee is no longer meeting because we voted on our recommendation on December 1st. The middle school committee voted on December 7, and the High School committee submitted their recommendations last week.

Which makes the timing of the email rather odd as any comments received between December 1 and December 21 will clearly not be considered by the adoption committees as they’ve already made their recommendations.

I’m trying to figure out of this is just blind stupidity on the part of the school district, ignorance, or an attempt to deceive the public into believing that their comments and feedback are actually going to be considered. Neither – blind stupidity, ignorance, or willful deceit – are traits I find desirable in my school district.

The next school board meeting is Wednesday, December 21st – which is the last “official” day for public comments regarding the math textbooks being considered. Perhaps out school board members might want to ask district officials why they would adopt a schedule that had the committees choosing which textbooks to recommend before the cut off date for public comments.

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6 Responses to “Are Public Comments Irrelevant to PWCS For Math Textbook Adoption?”

  1. me Says:

    Good points. Sad to say, I feel our opinions are truly not valued.

  2. Ginni T Says:

    Yes, math text adoption is closed now – decisions were made between Thanksgiving and end of last week for all PWCS math texts, and committee meetings are over.

  3. pwceducationreform Says:

    So why are we pushing the farce that public comments will still be received and considered? And why did administration deliberately choose to schedule meetings such that the committee meetings and votes would be made weeks before the public comment period closed?

    It’s like the application deadline for serving on the committee. There were a huge total of 9 parents, I believe, on a committee of over 100. A number of parents expressed interest in serving but were turned away because the deadline had been passed. The “application period” ran from the last week of school in June to the first week in August. In June most parents aren’t paying attention to anything coming from the schools except end of year schedules and no one pays attention in the summer. I have to wonder now if that was intentional.

  4. Ed Says:

    As a pretense that they are listening this time; the way I hear it, they again threw out the rubrucs and went with the gut feelings after slick marketting presentations. Pretty sad; I guess we parents will still be needed at the board meetings…

  5. pwceducationreform Says:

    Below is the administration’s response to our concerns:

    “Thank you so much for your long hours and great discussions regarding the mathematics textbooks. Some sub-committees have come to preliminary conclusions and others are still working at this time. The public comment period for input to the committees is open until December 21. Should there be any additional forms that come in from the public, we will share them via e-mail or by arranging an additional meeting or conference call for any group whose meetings have concluded. After reviewing additional public comments that may come in, if any single committee member believes that this information warrants additional discussion about the preliminary conclusions, then that sub-committee will reconvene.

    Our goal continues to be that every community member interested in this process has had appropriate time to review the considered textbooks and an opportunity to express his/her thoughts and ideas.
    Even after the public comment period that allows for the committee to receive input, the books will remain on display throughout the county so that citizens may still review them and provide comment directly to the Prince William County School Board.

    Thanks again for your dedication to this important job.”

    Having served on one of the committees the whole “preliminary conclusions” line is CYA politically correct BS. We’ve made our decisions and unless we’re asked to come back to discuss something, those decisions are final.

  6. crosbycat Says:

    I was searching for something and got sidetracked into this interesting blog – so which textbook did they pick? I stumbled into the Math Wars when my Apserger 3rd grader was doing “compatible” numbers in the terrible enVisionMath – although compared to Everyday and Investigations it is probably a big step up. My district pretended it was an upgrade of an existing Scott foresman-addison wesley math to avoid any discussion and obstruction from parents. Since we didn’t do cost comparisons, it is a just a guess, but the online component of enVision is just the text and there are no extra explanations. It brags that it is aligned to the state test (PA, Pine Richland School District). I found out that the juggernaut of public education is well worth fighting, but no one else here was willing or brave enough for the challenge. Good luck.


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