2010-12-01 / Letters to the Editor

Math curriculum deserves evaluation

The Amherst School District has adopted an elementary math curriculum that self-identifies as a progressive, conceptual math curriculum. Like many parents, I approve of the idea of trying to teach the concepts of math and not just rote drills without understanding.

However, my husband and I have become increasingly concerned about this math curriculum. Our concern began because the concepts and problems seemed simplistic, and the curriculum didn’t seem to be progressing at a reasonable pace.

My children are doing basically the same thing over and over every year, and they are bored with math at school.

First, we spoke to my children’s teachers — all of whom have tried to help the problem as much as they can — and my husband spoke to the principal as well.

Eventually, we came to understand that there were other parents equally concerned about this curriculum for a variety of reasons.

As I have met more and more parents with concerns and talked to them about their experience, I have realized that simply voicing concerns to the administration and the board, as individuals, has not been effective in convincing the district that a thorough evaluation of this curriculum is necessary.

Therefore, a group of concerned parents have recently begun circulating a petition to attempt to persuade the Board of Education to put together a task force to thoroughly evaluate this curriculum and potential alternatives across the next year.

We are not asking that the current curriculum be immediately discontinued.

We are asking for a thorough evaluation. We feel a careful evaluation is necessary to know whether this curriculum is providing the best math program and to determine how best to support our teachers and children.

A Web version of the petition can be found at: http:/www.ipetitions. com/petition/improve_ amherst_math
Barbara Church
Washington Highway

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