At the Feb. 27 meeting, the school board will further discuss the implications of this year’s math curriculum changes, a topic from its Feb. 13 workshop. According to school board president Tricia Hackett, it will cover how the new math curriculum and adoption of textbooks fits in with the Gradual Release of Responsibility
(GRR) model, Common Core standards and students’ career readiness.
Hackett said the board will address how the new math curriculum affects students at different math levels. “We’ll discuss differentiated learning in math, such remediation techniques, individual education plans and advanced and honors classes,” she said.
“Last workshop, we met with two Freshman Center math teachers who gave a lesson based on the Gradual Release model,” Hackett said. At the upcoming meeting, the school board will continue to discuss the math lesson.
Although textbook and curriculum changes happen on a regular basis, Hackett said the board will also address some misconceptions about the changes.
“This is the first year of new math textbooks,” she said. “To coincide with that, there’s the Gradual Release program. The two together has created more comments than the data (on students’ grades) shows.” Hackett said last semester’s math grades for high school students changed little compared to the previous year’s grades.
Tori Campbell, pre-calculus student and junior, said she personally noticed a large difference in her math classes this year. “The teachers are pretty much like, ‘here, do this yourself,’” she said. “They’ll teach the lesson, and then the homework is completely different.”
However, Hackett said though math grades dropped slightly during the first nine-week grading period, they equalized by the end of the semester. “Bad rumors travel faster than fact or good rumors,” she said. “Things happen at the same time, and one thing gets blamed.”