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Investigations Math Poll Results  Community Comments
Click here to sign the Petition
to rid us of Investigations Math
I have received some comments from people in the community and I wish I had
a better way to publish both the pro & con responses, but alas, that would
be a major overhaul to my site. Perhaps I'll implement a forum as that may
be easier. For now though, here are people's comments with their names removed.
ProInvestigations Comments are shaded yellow, while those against it are
green. If you would like to have your comment posted, please
send your message from this link.
Other comments made from the poll are enlightening and can be found on the Q10 page.
Community Comments 
My response (if any) 
Oak,
I have looked at this and wondered why Nebo scored higher as well for
7th grade math. I called the school district to ask, and they said that
they are pushing 7th graders to move as many kids to Pre Algebra and
Algebra as possible, so the kids in the "7th Grade Math" actually
are some of the less stellar students to begin with almost like special
ed classes so the scores will be lower (It might as well be called remedial
math. If you look at the scores for pre algebra and algebra they are
scoring 89 % on average. Nebo is not pushing their highest students to
leave 7th grade math, so there are a lot of smart kids in those classes.
Statistics. You might want to put this in your web page. The kids are
doing a lot better when you look at the whole picture. Good luck, but
I think the district really has changed enough to offer enough of both
sides now and they are titling the program as a balanced approach, not
just investigations. If 88% of students at Mt. Ridge and Timberline are
proficient in Algebra and PreAlgebra, and most of the students in 7th
grade are in those classes, it changes everything, so you can't compare
the Alpine and Nebo school districts. 
Look at the other graphs I posted on 3rd and 5th grade. It's not as pronounced
a difference as 7th grade, but Nebo is still above Alpine by several percentage
points. It would be interesting to track some of these students into the
future
as they go to college and see if remedial math course rates go up like
they did in California. See the page on that by clicking
here. 
We moved here a year and a half ago from the Provo School
District. My daughter was in PreAlgebra and noticed that she understood
much more than others in her class. This last year it was obvious that
the instruction was lacking. Many times she would come home and be completly
confused until it was explained to her from the perspective that she has
learned all her years until know. My younger children were in kindergarten,
second grade and fourth grade. I am concerned for them and especially for
the youngest who will spend all of his years of school attending the alpine
school district. This is nothing to mess around with. You are handicapping
these children for opportunities in the future. Whether or not you want
to admit it you share part of the responsibility for the lack of learning
and improvement. The test scores show the discrepancies. I think it is
shameful that you have repeatedly brushed the concerns of the parents in
this district aside. I am aware that there are those children who do learn
better in investigational math, but quite honestly you are hurting more
students than you are helping. I believe it is irresponsible and would
like to know what it will take for the members of the school board to take
this matter seriously. 

How are you doing? This is [name withheld] and I
wanted you to know I was one of the victims of the
cruel math program. hahaha. I just thought it might
be handy for you to know . . . I don't know why, but
it could come in handy. [Name withheld] was in the same
class as me, and we're not exactly stupid. We're both
just about 4.0 students, and though we never failed in
that class, we were always thoroughly confused. I
went to friends and other teachers to help me with the
work, and that seemed to work, if I could find the
time to get help. But, all in all, it made me lose
any interest I had in math, and [Name] and I will not
be taking it again this year because we feel that we
would not be ready to go on. I feel like it was a
waste of my time, and not because my teacher was
stupid, didn't know how to do it, or lacked the
ability to explain, I think it was the program.
Anyway, off my soap box, just thought you ought to
know. Have a great day!! 

We have been living in South Carolina for a year and
will be moving back to Utah in the near future. My children have struggled
in Math here in South Carolina because of the Investigations math they
received in elementary and junior high in American Fork. My boys are in
honors classes and are on the high honor roll here and in Utah. However,
we have had to obtain private tutoring to help them in math. South Carolina
math test scores are very low when compared to the national match scores.
In South Carolina approximately 50% of High School freshman never graduate
from High School. Additionally, many of the families in South Carolina
live in an extremely low socioeconomic area. However, my boys had not
learned basic math skills in Utah and were even far behind the South Carolina
students in math. In every other subject they are far ahead of the South
Carolina students but not in math. Both boys loved math but have learned
to hate it because of the math program in Alpine District. They become
very frustrated when they are asked to display and use basic computation
skills they were not taught under the Investigations math program. My sons'
math teachers in South Carolina have indicated they are gifted in math
but seem to be lacking a basic understanding of several crucial math skills.
We have spent a great deal of money and time helping these boys learn basic
skills. These skills should have been taught in elementary and junior high
school. 

The results of this surevey were interesting however,some of your comments were sarcastic and inappropriate if you wanted to present this survey in a nonbiased, informative way. One question... Have you sat in on your child's (children's)elementary math classes to understand more fully the Investigations program? I have found that most people with strong negitive opinions about the program have never taken any time to attend their child's math class to see how or what was being taught. 
No I have not taken the time to sit in on a class at the school with my children. However, I have spent fruitless hours wondering why we were doing math problems far below their grade level like sending a 3rd grader around the house to find and list objects that were round and then sorting them by color or some other method.
I have found that most people that have strong positive opinions about this program feel so because of an emotional response to seeing their child learn something after struggling with it for so long as if other methods of teaching math are invalid because they don't produce such a sharp contrast between confusion and enlightenment. I have also found that this same group of people that feel positively about Investigations Math, haven't done any research into the background of the program and what real studies show are the most effective ways to teach our children. Finally, these same people don't realize that even Alpine School District recognizes this program is a failure and every year adds new patches to the program. They KNOW it's a weak curriculum but instead of going to a solid grounded program, they continue to patch weaknesses where they see them resulting in a weak program being made better, instead of a great program being made better by little tweaks. 
As a founder of a charter school (Timpanogos Academy),
I must thank the ASD for adopting Investigations math. If they hadn't done,
so we might have had difficulty recruiting students. As it stands now,
we have a lengthy wait list, and the number one reason parents choose our
school (according to our internal survey) is "curriculum". I
feel sorry for all the "investigations victims" in the ASD and
elsewhere, but at least I can feel secure that students from our school
(including my own children) will have that much less competition for entrance
into college and good jobs. Seriously, I worry about the pressure from
the State Office of Education to adopt investigationsstyle programs statewide.
Within the last several years there was a substantial attempt to remove
Saxon from the state's Approved Instructional Materials list (now, thankfully,
called the Recommended Instructional Materials list). The USOE is also
in process of rewriting the state's CRT's to align with investigationsstyle
teaching and curricula, so we may expect in the future to see Saxon students
doing poorly on statemandated tests, even though Saxon students will (presumably)
still be more proficient in mathematics than their TERCinstructed counterparts. 

I found the results of your survey interesting, but not surprising. I removed my three children from Rocky Mountain Elem. 3 years ago. After one year of Investigations being a complete failure and the Alpine School District ignoring all needs and concerns of parents, we were lucky to get into a Charter School. My girls now do Saxon math. I am very pleased with this program. They know all of their math facts, each homework set has at least one story problem and the work is on their level. Because of the spiraling review contained in Saxon, all concepts are continually practiced and mastered.
It's time that Alpine School District listen to the parents and look at the lack of success of Investigations. California dropped this program years ago because their students were doing so poorly. Why can't we learn from them? Is it really necessary to find out "for sure" with our own kids? The State Office of Education has great confidence in this program. We need to work with our local school boards but we also need to be working with the state to get this entire program deleted from our curricula state wide!
I would like to know if the Alpine District receives money from BYU. I know that at the time of implementation the BYU Education Dept. was heavily involved with the teachers. 

I applaud you for what you are doing! I have very strong negative feelings about Math Investigations. My 6th grade son who is in ALL is completely clueless about how to do a long division problem, as well as many of the other typical problems associated with Math Investigations. I am currently involved in the development of a charter school in the Highland/Alpine area. One day, during a time when I had been doing alot of research on various curriculum, my son came up to me with some very sincere, thoughtful, and insightful comments. He said something like this: Mom, I want to tell you something about how to get a good curriculum that works. You need to get a curriculum that doesn't confuse kids, like I usually feel in math. You need to be able to practice things and be able to understand them before you move on to something else. Make sure you pick something that lets the kids spend enough time on each topic so that they can really learn and understand it. I very excitedly ran into the room to where my computer was and showed him a page that I had been reading (I don't remember the site or which particular curriculum it was) about explicit, sequential instruction as well as allowing students the opportunity for practice to mastery. This is definitely not Math Investigations!! I appreciated my son's insightful and timely comments. Thanks for your efforts on the behalf of all the parents and students in the ASD. 

What's so annoying for me, Oak, is I have had to purchase an Algebra II program from BYU for [name] to review. She had the first semester of Algebra II last fall. She was totally lost during the second semester so we got that semester from BYU. She couldn't do it. She GOT AN A for the first semester, too, but SHE DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING. So now I've purchased the first semester from BYU for her to do as review. Her ACT score was 29. She got a 36 in science, a 33 in reading but a 21 in math! A 21! Math Investigations is THE WORST. Thanks for your work on this. 

Thank you for putting so much effort into this. I feel that this is very important and have wanted to talk to the principal but have never gone there to do so. We moved here from CA two years ago and quickly saw that the math program was very weak compared to CA. My daughter started 5th grade here and felt like she knew a lot more about math than her classmates and felt that she hardly learned any more the rest of the year. My other daughter was in second grade and has a math disability and she never received any regular math homework of the basics (addition and subtraction). The investigations homework was confusing and asked her to do things that she was never taught and seemed at an innapropriate level much of the time. I had to hire a tutor and pay out loads of money so that she could at least get near grade level. 

We moved in March from a different state. Coming from doing regular math to what they do here is awful. My daughter is in 6th grade and is having a rough time. I totally disagree with this math program, and will be doing math at home after school. 

From Ruth Sulik, local math tutor
I love the Investigations Math program, it's given me more business than ever. I commend the school district for being willing to try something new, but when it creates more problems than it's solving, that's when they need to take another look at it. If it was working, parents would support the program and obviously it's not working because so many parents are against the program. I think Investigations does have some cool things, but this particular program has had several years as a trial and when kids get to the upper math they hit major problems. 

My nephew is a victim of investigational math. Probably the smartest kid I have ever met in my life, but if
you ask him the simplest of math questions, he freezes up and
takes a very long time to come up with a simple answer. I also have 2 young boys of my own that will be in school in a
couple/few years. I don't want them to have to endure the
madness. You are doing a good job! Keep it up.
Jeff Kennedy


Just a quick note: My wife and I lived in Highland for 3 years and one of the reasons for our move was to get our children away from the Investigations Math "Garbage" that was being taught at Highland Elementary. After many sit down talks with our children's teachers and hearing the many ridiculous excuses for why their students were not learning basic math skills at the pace that other school children, in other school districts were, we moved. We miss Highland, but do not feel it is worth putting our kids through that kind of Math....HELL! We are fortunate to be able to have our kids in a charter school now; however, I feel sorry for those people that don't have that option. Thanks for your efforts Barry Henline 

Two of my children were enrolled in the Highland Elementary in Alpine School District. Having been frustrated with my oldest not doing well in school, I knew he was not ready to enter into Junior High for 7th grade. Timpanogos Academy had openings for their 7th grade, so I quickly enrolled him. When he was initially tested for his Math skills he was moved 2 grades below where he should have been. He was very humiliated and upset about it and we had many days where he came home upset about his schooling. This had been a tough decision to make, and even though I knew it was hard, we continued to take him to the charter school. This year, as he entered into 8th grade he was tested and skipped a whole grade in his Math. We were thrilled. My daughter who is now in 4th grade was able to get into Timp Academy in February of last year. She is a driven child, and is used to doing well in all of her classes. For over a month there were many tears shed because of her frustration at not getting the Math program, but she was able to catch on quickly and by the beginning of this year has been able to jump back up to the top of her class. I KNOW that the Saxon program, with it's base in the fundamental principles,is the right choice for my children. I hope that Alpine School District will change their program soon so that more children can be caught up to their peers who are not in Investigations. I live across the street from my Elementary School and a few blocks from our Junior High. I have to drive at least 20 minutes each way every day to take my kids to their charter school. We are spending more time on their homework. I WILL NOT go back to what we were doing before. It is time and money wellspent! 

My daughter is one of the first group of kids to enter Jr high after having been in this math program. Needless to say she failed math last year and is now repeating the same math class. That's productive right?? When I went in to talk with the math teacher I told her I was very frustrated with this investigative math program. She informed me that most of her students had also failed her math class. She told me that they are coming into regular math not knowing fractions, how to tell time or their multiplication facts. (she no longer works at Oak Canyon Jr High, after one year of teaching math) I left her and went to talk to the assistant principle. He informed me that they would be talking to the teacher to have her change her grading process, helping to make it so not as many students would fail. That solves the problem again RIGHT???Elaine R.


Investigations Math Menu
** Most important pages to read (all have value but if you will only read
a few pages make it these)
* Very important
