Dear PAUSD Board Members and Superintendent Skelly,
We appreciate the dedication, time and efforts of the Elementary Math Adoption Committee.
Unfortunately, we do not agree with their choice of either Every Day Math or Envision/Investigations. We need to prepare our students better to compete with their peers from Asia, Europe and the rest of the world.
The 2008 Final Report of National Mathematics Advisory Panel clearly recommends:
1. The mathematics curriculum in Grades PreK–8 should be streamlined and should emphasize a well-defined set of the most critical topics in the early grades.
2. Use should be made of what is clearly known from rigorous research about how children learn, especially by recognizing a) the advantages for children in having a strong start; b) the mutually reinforcing benefits of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and automatic (i.e., quick and effortless) recall of facts; and c) that effort, not just inherent talent, counts in mathematical achievement.
Nationally, several school districts have abandoned Everyday Math. The most recent ones include: Brandon Valley, SD and Poway, CA. Dr. Skelly joined us from Poway which has very similar demographics as ours.
The minutes of the Elementary Math Adoption Committee meetings suggest that a minority group within the Committee raised the very same issues as the parent community has expressed.
In light of the fact that several districts are abandoning Everyday Math, we need to revisit the recommendations of this minority group. All the teachers on the Committee wanted to pilot SRA Real Math which they did not have an opportunity to evaluate. We were not able to consider Singapore Math or Saxon Math for another set of reasons. Since this topic is extremely important to our community and for the well being of our students, our children, let us reconsider our decision. We need to be working in unison with teachers, parents, and administrators.
Therefore, we petition that the PAUSD School Board:
1. Seek a waiver from the State until next year
2. Recommend that the Textbook Adoption Committee
a. revisit their recommendation following the process laid out by the strategic plan which requires a survey of the community
b. pilot one or more of the following math programs: SRA Real Math, Singapore Math and Saxon Math in the coming school year to consider for adoption in the following year, along with the pilots of EDM and EnVision
c. in coordination with the PTA of each school, add one parent representative with significant math experience from each school to the Textbook Adoption Committee, such that parent representation is at least 25% of the committee members
d. develop a wider communication plan for the committee's work including at least three community meetings throughout the year, not at the end of the work, along the lines of the successful strategic planning community meetings
We hope that the Board will consider all the issues and support our petition to revisit the decision about adopting a math program that we all agree is the best for our students, our children.
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FOR FURTHER INFO PLS SEE: http://pamath2009.wordpress.com/
Palo Alto & Los Altos Hills (PAUSD) Residents & Property Owners
Palo Alto & Los Altos Hills (PAUSD) Parents & Teachers
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