This week the Prince William County School Board will again consider “opt-in” for an alternative traditional math program. Just in time, the parents at “Teach Math Right” have documented that about half of the school districts touted by the publisher of the program have dropped it. About the same time, the Institute of Education Sciences has concluded that Math Investigations is relatively ineffective at teaching math compared to other instructional programs available today. We’re staying with this program, but why?
Don Richardson would do well to drop his instinctive distaste of what parents are telling him and start paying attention to what they’re saying. Clinging to studies funded by the publisher is going to get a whole lot more difficult as enraged parents dig further into the questionable data that underpins the claims made by Scott Foresman Publishing. When a significant proportion of the school districts that still use Math Investigations are doing so only because they’re getting federal or private grants to do so while the remainder have largely abandoned the program, keeping fuzzy math in Prince William County doesn’t make much sense.
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