Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Everyday Math debacle

I fail to understand why districts keep adopting Everyday Math despite everything we know about it and regardless of its very many shortcomings. A district in New Hampshire recently signed on with Everyday Math and it seems they're a bit worried about it.

They should be very worried.

Curriculum Coordinator Heather Cummings said that the Everyday Math curriculum, introduced this year, is still being worked in by teachers, and that there would be a learning curve before teachers could feel comfortable with it.

"It is a language-based program, so for those students who might struggle with that, we are working with teachers to deal with the issues," she said.

Just wondering...

Since when did math become "language-based" and more importantly, why? The fact that math is NOT language based is what so many children love about math. When I say language based, I'm NOT referring to word problems. Word problems are good. Word problems are math. By language-based I'm talking short answer response and essays about math. Why?

What happens to the children of Everyday Math while their teachers struggle with this "learning curve" anyway? In the meantime, they don't get through all the modules so that material is not covered at all and the children lose mathematics skills along the way. How is this acceptable? Apparently the plan is to plug the gaping holes left in sixth grade when the children get to seventh grade. Are you kidding me?

In the face of all we know about Everyday Mathematics, the human brain, and the results of those students who have gone through the program only to need remediation, why oh why do districts keep adopting Everyday Math? When will the madness end?

In the meantime, what happens to these children who don't even know what they're missing? What they are missing is rigorous mathematics that makes sense.

Source: The Citizen of Laconia,
Math technology showcased at Belmont Shaker meeting


Anonymous said...

You said it! Our district has EM. I tried and failed to get rid of it. Want to know what that was like? See my LTE at
(sorry it is such a long link!)

I lost all respect for teachers in this process, and esp for the Curriculum Director. What a joke!

concernedCTparent said...

Great letter. It's so frustrating, isn't it? At some point, I just decided to cut my losses and run.

Anonymous said...

Me too...we homeschool as of last year. I have a 6th grader ruined by EM because she is a creative type and forgot every lesson by the time she arrived home. "Don't worry, it will come back around and she will get it..." but she forgot just as readily every time. My now 2nd grader had mastered every inch of the 1st grade curriculum when he was there before they "taught" it, but his grades had to follow the built-in "success smoke-screen" - he couldn't get an E until the 3rd quarter even though he did E work all along. Not a single problem wrong on a worksheet or test all year. I am in the process of testing him to see where he should be in Saxon, and he is testing into 5/4 strongly as a 2nd grader. The public school wouldn't even let him move ahead a year! I have noticed how nicely these integrated/constructivist math programs fit into the International Bacalaureate programme, however. Most fans of EM and related texts are moving to that UN education take-over idea. You can't get parents and kids to fall in line with IB if they have a well written challenging math curriculum being taught by teachers instead of facilitators! (sorry, I sometimes get on my soapbox. Hope you don't mind, I will stop there! :-)) By the way, what do you do now with the kids? I suppose I should just read more of your blog!

concernedCTparent said...

I'm homeschooling my fifth grader and will homeschool the second and kindergartener by the fall. At this point I'm only afterschooling the younger two. Details of my daughter's curriculum are on my other blog, Clio's Classroom.