Request a Reevaluation of the LWSD Math Curriculum
Currently, the TERC Investigations curriculum is the sole curriculum used in the Lake Washington School District. This reform-based curriculum is not, by itself, adequate to educate our children in math. There are many positive aspects to the reform-based approach, such as its focus on student understanding of math concepts versus rote learning; and its early introduction of concepts such as estimation and statistics. There are also serious drawbacks to the current curriculum, such as worksheets with excessive verbiage that only serves to obfuscate the actual math problems; a lack of emphasis on learning, practicing, and memorizing basic math facts; and an inability to accommodate students who can work at higher-than-average levels. We believe the Investigations curriculum needs to be balanced by use of some strict-math methodologies in the classroom. Therefore, we the undersigned request that the Lake Washington School District conduct a full and thorough reevaluation of the math curriculum with a goal of picking a new curriculum or augmenting the current one to strike a better balance between the reform and strict-math approaches. Specifically, we request that: 1. The new curriculum/supplemental materials be selected by a committee that is composed of mathematicians from universities and private industry, exemplary math educators, parents, and teachers. 2. The committee gather input from parents, teachers, and the LWSD school communities. 3. The committee evaluate curriculums/materials that are used internationally and nationally, as ell as within the state. 4. The new curriculum/materials focus on core concepts, algorithms, computation, and mathematical problem solving rather than learning processes. 5. The new curriculum/materials include explicit instruction of algorithms and concepts. 6. If supplemental materials are used, the committee come up with a plan for incorporating the materials into the curriculum such that at least half the classroom time is dedicated to their use, in order to balance the current Investigations curriculum. This petition has been organized by concerned parents in the Lake Washington School District. The undersigned are all parents of children in the district. We are committed to working with the school board to come up with a more effective curriculum for the Lake Washington School District.