What to Do About Fuzzy Math in Your Area - 13 Ideas
What I hear over and over from people in parts of the country when they find my website is that their school district just implemented Investigations math or a program of similar ilk and they describe trying to stop the school board from doing it and asking for my help in what to do. If you're worried about the program the district has chosen or is in process of choosing, ACT FAST. Here's a short and quick list of things you can do:
1) GET EDUCATED. You can't make points without knowing what you're talking about. Two of the best places online to have that happen are www.mathematicallycorrect.com, and www.nychold.com.
2) Speak with your school board member one-on-one. School board members sometimes get convinced by the "math expert" in the district and go down the path because they haven't understood the great harm many of the constructivist programs cause.
3) Find other parents in your area and get them on board with petition signing and campaigns to alert the public what's happening.
4) Go speak at public school board meetings with other parents. Go regularly until you determine you're just being tuned out.
5) Get on your school's PTA or Community Council to help make a difference and have your voice heard regularly.
6) Run for School Board.
7) Call in to local talk shows and discuss the issue to raise greater awareness.
8) Write letters to the editor.
9) Contact the press directly and ask them to write stories to alert the public as to what's happening.
10) Contact local legislators who may be able to pressure the district and schools to re-evaluate the programs being used or else ask them to help look into changing the state standards in such a way to ensure they are clear and world class and well define the CONTENT that should be mastered in schools. Most state standards are very vague. California's are the best. If you can adopt them you'll be ahead of the curve and publishers specficially write for CA so you have a broad choice of decent programs.
11) Find teachers in your schools that believe in traditional math with rigor and get your kids into their classes. Watch your kids homework like a hawk and make respectful comments to their teachers when you are displeased with the homework.
12) See about dual-enrolling your child in school so that you teach math at home and the child goes to school for other subjects. Or just homeschool with GOOD materials. Saxon math is a great homeschool program. In Utah, it's also used by 8 of the 10 top scoring private schools. It just works.
13) Look into charter or private schools.
Don't give up. Fighting an entrenched bureacracy is one of the hardest things you can do. Keep your life balanced and don't neglect the other important things in life, but keep after it. It's amazing what can happen if you turn off the TV and spend an hour at night making things happen. It really adds up.
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