Weekly Math Updates

April 12, 2006

  • Vouchers
  • Candidates
  • Mountainville Academy APPROVED
  • Sylvan Center Math Camps
  • An 11 Year Old's Letter
  • Parent Story
  • Against School
  • Weekly Comic - Caption Contest

Hi all,

Just a note, if you send me a story (which a lot of you have and I just haven't always had space to include them with the update) if you don't mind having your name published, let me know. So far I've removed all the names because I didn't take the time to specifically ask if I could use your name...some people are nervous about letting their name be attached to their statement...especially teachers. :)


After last week's email I got a couple of responses from people in favor of vouchers after I espoused my reservations toward that system. For a pro-voucher site, you can visit: http://www.believeinparents.com


I have not yet gathered information on specific candidates so I won't be posting anything here this week as I thought I would in the last update.You can see all the candidates on this page. If you are a Utah county delegate and would like to share thoughts on the county positions available email me privately.


Mountainville Academy APPROVED

Article Clip:
"One week ago, Alpine planning commissioners voted against recommending the site plan of Mountainville Academy to City Council members, but on Tuesday night Alpine city attorney David Church told council members again and again that the Planning Commission's decision had been illegal."

Sylvan Center Math Camps

An alert employee at Sylvan center has emailed me to let you know about some math camps that are available this summer at the Sylvan centers (closest one to ASD is in Orem). Besides the math camps they also offer writing, reading and ACT prep camps. Here's the list of math camps if you want to keep your child's brain engaged over the summer...or just catch them up to grade level. They're filling up fast so sign up soon if you want to get in. One parent I know has been taking their child in for tutoring and having great success with her getting up to grade level math comprehension.

Camp Sum Fun: Addition and Subtraction Math Facts (grades 1-3) $199
April 18-21 (T,W,TH,F 10:30am-12:30pm)
June 26-30 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)
August 7-11 (3:30pm-5:30pm)

Multiply and Divide: Multiplication and Division Math Facts (grades 3-5) $199
April 18-21 (T,W,TH,F 10:30am-12:30pm)
June 26-30 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)
August 7-11 (3:30pm-5:30pm)

Fraction Action 1: Fractions (grades 3-5) $199
July 17-21 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)

Fraction Action 2: Fractions (grades 6-7) $199
July 17-21 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)

Solve This! 1: Problem Solving (grades 4-5) $199
June 12-16 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)

Solve This! 2: Problem Solving (grades 6-7) $199
June 12-16 (M-F 9:30am-11:30am)

An 11 Year Old's Letter

One of the petition signer's children, age 11, wrote this letter and sent it to his principal and delivered a copy to all the school board members. WAY TO GO!

"My name is [removed] and I am 11 years old and go to Westfield elementary. I moved here about two years ago from Pennsylvania. I learned math differently there. At the beginning of the year they took a big math test, to see how good the kids were at math and they grouped them into how good they are. Instead of teaching everyone the same stuff, which is what they do at Westfield. There are some kids in my class that don’t know the math as well as others and they are behind. When I lived in Pennsylvania I was in third grade and I was in the fourth grade math level. Then I moved here and I was in fourth grade and I just like sat there the whole time because I had already learned that stuff. I think Alpine should build a charter school so that kids won’t be left behind or being taught stuff they already know."


[name removed]

Parent Story

I have an experience to share - I visited with my 5th graders teachers at parent teacher conferences. We questioned the teachers about their use of text books and thanked them for using other math programs to supplement the investigations. The teacher was afraid we were spies from the district! We reassured her we weren't, just concerned parents who have joined the fight against investigations. We moved to the district in December of 2004, so up until then my daughter had had traditional math instrution. Her state test scores were up in the 90th percentile across the board. After 6 months in the investigations curriculum, she was tested at the beginning of 5th grade, and her math score was in the 60th percentile! Her computation portion of the score was even lower.  All her other scores were still up in the 90th percentile. I believe this is directly related to her 4th grade teacher teaching nothing but investigations. I now teach her after school 3 days a week with the Saxon program, and she is doing great.

Keep up the fight


[name removed]

Against School


This is an article by John Gotto. It's an excellent piece on what the real purpose of public schools are for. Here's a clip from it:

"Now for the good news. Once you understand the logic behind modern schooling, its tricks and traps are fairly easy to avoid. School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they'll never be bored. Urge them to take on the serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology - all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid. Challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can."

Weekly Comic-Caption Contest

I just wasn't satisfied with the caption on this week's comic, so I'm attaching it to the email and would like to solicit your best attempts to caption it. It's a timely one and I'll email it out separately as soon as we have a winner. The winner gets a free copy of Riddle Me (I guess I need to get a new prize huh?). If you're a new petition signer and haven't seen it before go to www.riddleme.net.

Archive: http://www.oaknorton.com/weaponsofmathdestruction.cfm

Till next week,

Oak Norton


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