Eugene 4j School Board Petition
Although Shelly Berman has announced his departure and Chris Castillero is now gone, the controversial curricular changes that they’ve instituted continue to cause deep division in our community.Members of the board have pointed to questionable procedures that have led to the widespread use of CPM.We are now learning that although CPM has not been formally adopted, all of the “direct instruction” textbooks at SEHS and possibly at other schools have gone missing. Some believe they are now in boxes in a district warehouse and will soon be destroyed or sent away, effectively creating a fait accompli by eradicating the possibility for a direct instruction option and imposing a curriculum that has not been adopted, one that, by Berman’s admission, will cost the district substantially more money in the near future ($1.5 million by his estimation.) It is unclear how and by whom the decision to remove books was made.SEHS teacher, Deborah Baker, testified before the board that she had been surprised that the old books--Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 by Larson, Boswell, Kanold and Stiff-- had suddenly been replaced. We can infer that the math department was not consulted and that the decision to dispense with valuable district property was made secretly and unilaterally in another breach of procedural conventions. These are violations of the public trust.The way to rectify the situation is not to commit further damage and attempt further cover-ups.Many parents and teachers view the imposition of CPM as a grave disservice to our children.To hide and destroy good books that could be serving our community is a further sign of disrespect.
We, the undersigned, make the following requests:
1. That the location of the direct instruction books by Larson, Boswell, Kanold and Stiff be disclosed immediately and be made available so that they may continue to be used as the primary resource for mathematics instruction in 4J, and that the CPM materials already purchased be used as a supplement to these direct instruction books.
2. That there be no formal adoption of CPM, which would cost the taxpayers another $1.5 million.
3. That the process by which $469,405 (in bond money) was spent on CPM in Spring 2012 without board approval and prior to any “instructional committee meetings” be made public.
4. That all future curricular and funding decisions be made with full procedural transparency in accordance with Oregon precedent (that teachers are enlisted to suggest and review an array of materials to consider) and in adherence to Oregon Revised Statues sections 337.120 and 347.141: (which require the district to obtain parental and staff approval prior to the implementation of a new curriculum.)We ask that all teachers and stakeholders be invited to participate in the discussion rather than forging a disingenuous semblance of consensus by excluding those who might be skeptical of the curriculum the district prefers.