The good news is, Manchester is looking to provide a math program for their students. The bad news is, the programs chosen align with the failed Common Core standards that have been plaguing schools for almost a decade now.
The Curriculum and Instruction Committee began looking at different math programs to adopt in the school district. Unfortunately, none of them include traditional math programs that have a track record of success.
Eureka math for instance has been highly criticized by parents in New York for the confusing instruction that leaves parents unable to help their children at home.
Manchester parents made it clear several years ago, they do not want Common Core used in their school district. With falling enrollment, when will administrators take their message seriously? How many more children will they fail to educate before they abandon math education fads?
Here are just a few comments from parents in New York addressing Eureka math. How will a district with a large population of immigrants be able to help their children or provide the necessary tutoring that must be offered when Common Core used in the classroom?
Another math program under consideration is Bridges in Mathematics:
From our inception, we have been committed to addressing the needs of classroom teachers and their students.
MLC grew out of a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve the teaching of mathematics.
The NSF is responsible for serious damage to math education in this country. In his letter from 2004, Professor David Klein (California State University) said this about the NSF and math education:
“No single institution in the United States has caused more damage to the mathematical education of children than the National Science Foundation through its EHR division. In saying this I want to make it clear that I am not criticizing the NSF’s admirable and important role in supporting fundamental scientific research. I am criticizing only the Education and Human Resources division of the NSF. This is the division within the NSF that funds K-12 education projects. It is responsible for systematically promoting the worst math education fads of the past decade, and it continues to cause damage in schools. I have witnessed the crippling of education caused by the NSF’s promotion of poor math textbooks in schools across the country. In many cases, NSF funds were used to develop these defective programs.“
According the the Manchester C&I Committee their research comes from organizations/people like the NSF, NCTM, and Jo Boaler.
Professor Cliff Mass of Washington State University provides objective evidence showing the NCTM math programs are deficient:
Jo Boaler, Associate Professor at the Stanford School of Education was criticized in this report
for making “extremely strong claims for discovery style instruction in mathematics,
” by Wayne Bishop (Professor of Mathematics at California State University), Paul Clopton
and, R. James Milgram
(Professor of mathematics at Stanford University).
According to their report:
Prof. Boaler has refused to divulge the identities of the schools to qualified researchers. Consequently, it would normally be impossible to independently check her work. However, in this case, the names of the schools were determined and a close examination of the actual outcomes in these schools shows that Prof. Boaler’s claims are grossly exaggerated and do not translate into success for her treatment students.
Recently, Dr. Jo Boaler, an Associate Professor at the Stanford School of Education, gave a standing room only talk at the National Meeting of the NCTM1 in Anaheim, CA, and received a tremendously enthusiastic response. She had just explained how the results of her NSF2 funded study of three high schools in Northern California had verified the most controversial of the deeply held beliefs of this country’s education schools about mathematics education.
Unfortunately, the mathematicians are correct. Dr. Boaler kept the names of the schools private and asked that everyone trust that she had faithfully recorded the outcomes of her study. We were able to determine the identities of these schools. Then we studied the considerable amount of data in the California data base relating to these schools, as well as data requested through the Freedom of Information act or the California Public Records Act. This data includes things like school rankings, demographic data, SAT I outcomes, AP outcomes and even student level outcomes. Further, the results of the students from each of these schools on the entry level CSU4math skills test are available. The totality of this data does not support her conclusions.
The report gives details on the lack of information to back up her claims, and then goes on to detail how her conclusions were based on a series of flawed information.
School board members rely on valid, authentic and independent information and research. They should be able to trust what they are reviewing comes from reliable and good resources. This looks more like someone decided to push flawed Common Core on a district whose parents made it abundantly clear that they do not want Common Core curriculum used in the school district.
Former Superintendent Deb Livingston wasted $16,000.00 rebranding Common Core as the Manchester Academic Standards. This not only ignored concerns from Manchester parents, it wasted valuable time and money that could have been used to purchase quality materials for the classroom.
Parents in Manchester need to address their school board members and let them know that their children deserve better. Parents should not have to hire private tutors just to get their children a basic math education. They should not be forced to leave the district and attend a private school to learn basic math. Parents have said that their children deserve better. When is someone going to listen to them?
There is still time for parents to weigh in and let the BOSC know they expect a good quality traditional math program. Singapore Math has an excellent record of success. Saxon Math has been used in the home-school community for a long time and, has successfully prepared their children for the rigors of higher level of mathematics. Harcourt’s Math Advantage is also a good quality traditional math textbook that hasn’t been tainted by fuzzy or Common Core math fads. There is no need to spend a significant amount of money on a math program that is bound to fail children. Now is the time to speak up.
Ann Marie Banfield works as a parental rights advocate in New Hampshire. She has been researching education reform for over a decade and actively supports literacy and academic excellence in k-12 schools. You can contact her at: [email protected]