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Math Investigations Meeting Tonight

By Greg L | 21 January 2009 | Prince William County | 13 Comments

The Prince William County School Board will consider a proposal to allow schools to opt-out of the Math Investigations curriculum this evening.  Tonight’s meeting will be at Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Rd., Manassas, VA 20112 (directions here) at 7:00 PM rather than the school board meeting room in Independent Hill.  The school board still requires you to either notify the clerk by e-mail at pwcsclerk@pwcs.edu by noon today, or you can sign up on the list at the entrance to the meeting before 7:00 PM.

If you think you’re going to attend, I would suggest e-mailing the clerk right now just in case you might want to speak, whether you actually intend to do so or not.  You gotta get that pre-clearance approval to address your elected officials, otherwise you pesky citizens have to sit quietly and keep your mouths shut like the good little subjects you’re supposed to be.

UPDATE: I’ve heard that the speaker sign-up sheet is being picked up at 6:30, rather than at 7:00 as documented on the PWCPS website.  If you haven’t emailed the clerk and obtained your pre-approval you need to show up at least a half hour before the meeting starts if you care to share your views with the board.

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  1. Greg L said on 21 Jan 2009 at 1:44 pm:
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    This is an interesting exchange that I had with the PWCPS clerk’s office:

    My name is Greg Letiecq, and I have a daughter at Sudley Elementary School. I would like to share my thoughts with the school board this evening on the subject of the Math Investigations program.

    Please let me know if you require any other information from me in order to permit me to speak to my elected officials.

    And the response?

    Mr. Letiecg,

    I need your home address and home phone number please.

    Now when was the last time you were asked to provide a phone number and home address in advance of you wanting to address public officials at one of their meetings? Would providing it assist in scheduling the meeting? Does the school board staff intend to publish it? I didn’t bother to try and find out what would happen if I refused to provide this irrelevant personal information, but I just have to wonder if such a refusal to provide it would have meant you wouldn’t be allowed to speak at a board meeting.

    I’ve heard that before the current board chairman changed the rules to allow a sign-up sheet, people requesting permission to address the board would get phone calls before the meeting from a principal to try to deal with whatever the issue was before the meeting and try to prevent the citizen from addressing the board. While it was an interesting way to get a school to address an issue, putting a protective barrier between board members and the citizens they represent (for whatever reason) is utterly bizarre.

  2. ed said on 21 Jan 2009 at 2:55 pm:
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    I suppose they need your address to know which school should be addressing your concerns.
    Parents that have emailed certain board members get a call from the school asking them to come in for a conference.
    Sometime they get ambushed by members of the math department who are there for the meeting.
    Odd way to run a democracy don’t you think..

  3. greg barlow said on 21 Jan 2009 at 3:23 pm:
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    Overall I wouldn’t get too tied up in knots over the procedure. It’s really easy overall and after a few visits to speak you can just state, “and my information’s on file.”

    Ms. Eva Thorpe - the PWCS Clerk - is a very nice lady; she’s always been very pleasant to work with and if you’d like to leave a hard copy of what you’re presenting with her she will add it to the official record of the meeting.

    Look forward to meeting you and hearing what you have to say. Would enjoy hearing about your experiences at Sudley w/ MI.

    Greg Barlow
    PWCS Dad & “Director of Elementary and Middle School Mathematics in the Barlow Family Household” : )

  4. Rex said on 21 Jan 2009 at 3:30 pm:
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    Yes Greg L this is true. I’ve had a rather heated dialogue going with one board member who requested my childs school name. Once I gave that out I have received two voicemails by the vice principal and the principal requesting that I call them to discuss my concerns. I’ve also been contacted by my schools level superintendent. We’ll see….

  5. please educate our kids said on 21 Jan 2009 at 4:39 pm:
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    Ummm, the phone calls from the principals are still happening I can assure you. Several of my friends who sent emails last week to the school board members promptly received calls from their principal or vice principal to schedule a meeting to discuss their concerns (some within 30 minutes of sending the email!). The meetings played out much like the math night propaganda campaigns. Parents are pressured to remain silent to protect their teachers and school from more scrutiny.

    Last year after the first board meeting I spoke out against Investigations, my child’s teacher had been contacted and filled in with all the details by the next morning when I showed up to volunteer in the class

  6. please educate our kids said on 21 Jan 2009 at 4:48 pm:
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    …Last year after the first board meeting I spoke out against Investigations, my child’s teacher had been contacted and filled in with all the details by the next morning when I showed up to volunteer in the class

  7. please educate our kids said on 21 Jan 2009 at 4:48 pm:
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    …less than 12 hours later. The teacher told me that the math department had emailed the principal who had then questioned the teacher as to what they were doing “wrong” that their parent was complaining. I had never discussed my concerns with the teacher because my objection was to the math curriculum, text selection and policies of the district office and superintendent which had nothing to do with the teacher. Needless to say by the end of the year things were quite uncomfortable and difficult between the teacher and I because of the pressure from the administration. At the end of the year at our last PTO meeting the principal and my daughter’s teacher came (she was the only teacher in attendence) and she began a rant which lasted for about 15 min on how parents speaking out against investigations have caused terrible pressure and discomfort to our teachers. She recounted the awkward moments on the golf course with her colleages as they questioned her as to why parents at her school were causing so much trouble, she was apparently humiliated and it must have adversly affected her golf game or her ability to enjoy the game. This is the insanity parents have been subjected to for the last 2 years!!!

  8. Julie Lucas said on 21 Jan 2009 at 4:49 pm:
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    Greg, thanks for getting the information out about tonight’s meeting. We want all parent concerns to be addressed. I would hope parents feel comfortable talking to their child’s principal about the situation. If not, we (as a board) should know why? We all want to help, listen, and get action. Don’t be alarmed about your address. BOCS requires that too (to state your address before you speak). If we have it ahead of time then when you speak you may say, “My address is on file” like mentioned above. If parents do not want to speak to their principal or feel what was said to them by their principal was not appropriate then I hope those parents will reach out to us and let us know. We cannot address a problem at a school if we do not know what school the child attends. Not all schools have parents upset with MI. I have not received a single email from a parent in my district that is upset or has concerns about MI. The only emails I have received from parents in my district have been positive about it. I am glad to hear someone “got on it” quick when I forwarded emails to the level superintendents. That is what they are to do. See everyone tonight. All are welcome.

  9. Anonymous said on 21 Jan 2009 at 5:12 pm:
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    OT - But you got to see this

    Gerry Connelly advocating lying so Democrats can win BOCS seat.


  10. anon said on 21 Jan 2009 at 5:30 pm:
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    Is this sounding like the secret police or what? You voice a complaint at a school board meeting and the next thing guys with black arm bands are visiting your teacher and principal and then they are requesting to meet with you?

    As far as Mrs. Lucas’s comment that they cannot address a problem with out knowing the school, what does the individual school have to do with a problem that is district wide? That is clearly intimidation and I can’t believe that it has been permitted or that Mrs. Lucas is essentially endorsing intimidation tactics.

    Is it not logical that I could love my children’s school, love their teachers, love their principal, but still think the math textbook is a piece of trash? What can the principal and teacher possibly say that will change my mind? And now I have to worry that the administration might put me on the McCarthy “Math Troublemaker” list if I speak or send an email. And they want to meet me so I can defend what I believe to the math education department experts who will have counter points for everything I say. What happens if I don’t agree with them? Will my child be waterboarded or made to wear thong underwear on their head?

  11. Anchor Baby said on 21 Jan 2009 at 6:13 pm:
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    It’s interesting that a Name and Address is being asked for by the Clerk since those emails are FOIAble and should be able to be requested with almost minimal cost.

  12. Julie Lucas said on 22 Jan 2009 at 3:03 am:
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    To “anon 5:13pm.” You may not be aware that the board was previously told that the majority of the complaints were coming from only 4 schools. I asked parents about what grade level and school their child attends to determine if they are in my district (because many emails did not state what district they lived in), what school (to see if they were from the same 4 or others around the county), and to better help the parent get answers to their concerns from our level superintendents who represent different schools in the division. My asking helped to determine that we have received complaints from 26 of our elementary schools, not 4 as we were previously told. I in NO way want anyone to feel intimidated. I hope this information helps to better understand why I asked about which school. If anyone has any additional questions for me, please feel free to email me: jlucas@pwcs.edu. I care deeply about all of our students and want parents to feel comfortable talking to us.

  13. ed said on 23 Jan 2009 at 11:56 am:
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    So where did the “4 schools” comment come from?

    It came from information provided to Mr Lattin by someone in the school system. Someone should consider what their motives were in releasing that inaccurate information.

    In the mean time, I’m happy to put the noise behind us and concentrate on improving the math education of our kids.

    And thanks to Ms Lucas and the other board members for listening through a very long night.

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