UPDATE: The rally will be held from 2-7 PM.
The group opposing Prince William County’s use of “Investigations in Number, Data, and Space,” known colloquially as “Math Investigations,” is planning a protest at the McCoart Building on Tuesday (election day) for those who might not be all that engaged in this election and might be looking for something else to do. I hope they get a good turnout, since this hugely expensive, experimental program just doesn’t seem to be producing the promised results.
The group also has a petition up with over 1,300 signatures. If you can’t make the protest, at least visit their petition page to find out what this is all about. Their website has a long list of reasons why adopting Math Investigations was a mistake, none of which I feel have been adequately addressed by the School Board. Parents need to be familiar with this debate at the very least, and if they’re not this is a good place to find out what this program is, its history, and the results it’s getting.
- Of all Virginia Dept of Education recommended text materials, MI ranks dead last in adequately supporting the VA Standards Of Learning.
- MI isn’t even on the VA Dept of Ed list of approved materials for Grade 5…but was perfect for PWCS kids!
- PWCS math scores for both elementary and middle school were great before MI - using traditional math - above VA averages across the board and rising!!! There was no “math crisis” in PWCS…but there is now…
- Traditional proven simple and efficient arithmetic algorithms are discouraged, but children must “rote memorize” convoluted and excruciatingly complicated procedures to solve basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems.
- Long division is not taught at all….even by 5th grade.
- “Spiral learning” approach ensures that kids who move to other areas of the country are behind their peers who have been allowed to learn “real math” (beware military families)
- MI does not believe that children should master math facts and arithmetic operations
- MI promotes “discovery learning” by children vice teacher-led instruction
- No valid math study has ever been performed showing the effectiveness of Investigations Math
- MI’s recommended handbook for teachers called “Beyond Arithmetic” says traditional elementary math must be discarded because it ignores the fact that “today’s students have an important tool available to them: the calculator.” BA, Page 77
- MI simply has a record of failure across the country. It has been banned by Utah, rejected by California, and had a dismal record of failure in PWCS’s Superintendent’s former district - Greece Central School District NY.
- Remediation rates have soared in communities where MI has been adopted - those who can afford tutors and learning centers will not let their children fail…but what about those less fortunate?
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