Presentation on theme: "Parents Concerned with Penfields Math Programs Parent Presentation June 16, 2005."— Presentation transcript:
Parents Concerned with Penfields Math Programs Parent Presentation June 16, 2005
Our History Parent group was founded earlier this year Many parents were grateful to find that others felt the same way and shared similar concerns Petition with nearly 700 resident signatures was presented to the Board of Education in April asking for a choice Board had already received a letter from many PHS tenured math teachers with their concerns Many others are afraid to speak out
Who are we? A group of parents concerned about our kids' math education Many of us have technical backgrounds, and several are educators Not a coincidence that similar groups have formed everywhere that discovery-based math programs have been introduced Not opposed to changewe want change for the better
Penfield Math History Discovery-based math programs were first introduced in the district on a limited basis Programs were adopted at all levels several years ago Investigations at the elementary level in 1999 Connected Math at the middle school level Core Plus at the high school level in conjunction with new state standards (Math A & B) None of these 3 programs meets new NYS standards
Elementary Level Concerns Investigations does not teach traditional math algorithms such as carrying/borrowing and long division Students only learn one computational method (e.g., repetitive addition for multiplication problems) Laborious computations often lead to wrong answers Little retention of math facts like times tables Clock fractions and "fraction strips" are being taught instead of least common denominator No reference materials
Middle School Concerns No reference materials are available, and the more complex subject matter makes it more difficult for parents to help Connected Math assumes basic computational skills (e.g., long division) that arent taught in Investigations Connected Math relies heavily on the use of calculators so students lose the little computational proficiency that they had coming out of Investigations Students identified for 2 Year Acceleration had learning gaps identified and received extra helpbut what about the other 300+?
High School Level Concerns No examples or reference materials Time spent on group discovery reduces the depth of the curriculum (all levels) Students are struggling with the math required for higher level science courses Colleges are reporting that students from Core Plus schools need remedial math, which delays or ends many students career dreams
Coaching/Tutoring Penfield schools are not teaching required skills Many parents are tutoring their children themselves Many parents are spending time and money to take their children to learning centers Many teachers are helping out (DIC, after school, etc.) Many teachers are supplementing with traditional materials How can Penfield factor this out when trying to decide if the math programs are successful?
Monroe County Schools Report Card (results as published in RBJ and from NYSED website)
What we want 1. The option of a traditional math curriculum for all students starting in Fall 2005 (and continuing with new state math standards) 2. District-provided testing and remediation for students who have missed out on key skills 3. Adjustments to current programs to close learning gaps for students who choose to remain in them 4. No similar changes to other academic subjects
Why this can (and must) be done The current programs will continue to erode our students' math abilities and we cannot allow this to happen PrecedentsThe Boards of Education in Traverse City, MI, Escondido, CA, and Torrance, CA did exactly what we want There are lots of choices in other academic subjects (enrichment, course options, etc.) The district could remove the discovery-based math if it doesnt want to support multiple programs Little cost to the district (books/materials)