Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Math curriculum needs more work


Walking into the first Oct. 17 math meeting with Dr. Jonathan Brendefur, I expected to meet the Kool-Aid seller of "new math." I expected to hate his teaching. After four of his lectures, Dr. Brendefur has easily proven his outstanding worth as director of the Idaho Initiative for Developing Mathematical Thinking (http://dmt.boisestate.edu/). Blaine County School District Superintendent Lonnie Barber, Curriculum Director Patty McLean and Math Coordinator Carla Scanlon deserve our thanks for bringing us this terrific educator to further educate teachers and parents on developing mathematical thinking.

But why is such training needed? A new math curriculum was not written in spite of the fact that the new math texts—"Investigations" for K-5 and "Connected Math 2" for 6-8—are drastically different from previous textbooks. Instead, Patty McLean simply purchased the curriculum within these texts. When parents and taxpayers began scrutinizing them, many holes were found.

Fears that these texts are incomplete were confirmed when Dr. Brendefur stated that he has not found any good math series. When asked about "Investigations," he replied that it was the best text for teaching math concepts, but overall isn't very good. Since the texts are lacking, the "curriculum" within them is also lacking. Our amazingly dedicated teachers have been forced to work beyond their normal workload to develop a math curriculum on the fly.

This first textbook implementation by our new and rather well-paid curriculum director is an ongoing disaster. The district office called in the cavalry to save the day; Jonathan Brendefur and his associate Sam Strother are thankfully capable of the task. And yet, will our children learn the math they need this year? Bringing in an incomplete and unbalanced curriculum is having ongoing negative effects for many teachers, students and families; it is no small matter.

Ellen Mandeville

Hailey




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.