I'm writing an editorial to send to the local paper regarding this *huge* controversy over the math program. I want it to look/sound pretty close to perfect before a few thousand people read it. (And I am well aware that it is far from that at this point!) Please suggest any changes you think would be in line or PM me with the changes. Thank you.
Recently, the "Core Math" controversy has escalated to new heights in the Ashland School District. Many parents, students, teachers, and some school board members have been very outspoken in their distaste for the program. While I agree that there are crucial problems with the curriculum, I would like to make two very important points that often go unconsidered.
The community-wide stance against the program is not only affecting math classes, but the attitude of the students in the classes as well. When a student hears nothing but criticism for a class that he is taking, it gives him an excuse to not work up to his full potential. Many students are beginning to feel as though their time is being wasted on a program that their parents (who often are not completely informed about the curriculum before forming opinions) are campaigning to eliminate. I have seen many students give up on an assignment before they start, or waste class time protesting tasks with the mentality "I don't get this! Core Math isn't teaching us anything!" Often times it is likely that in any math program, the concept being discussed is hard to grasp. Perhaps if community members took more time to evaluate the program before jumping on a bandwagon, students would feel as if their time is being valued.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, I think it is high time that we as a community (students and parents alike) start respecting the teachers in the math department who dedicate themselves each day to helping students. While attending Ashland High School, my experience has been that the teachers are knowledgeable professionals regardless of their personal standpoints on the curriculum. They tirelessly teach students even when the students are not willing to learn.
Please do not blame teachers for the negative aspects of the Core Plus program; I can assure you that they are doing their jobs.