Saturday, October 13, 2007

They all look the same...

"You know, talk about curriculum, if I put in front of you a fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade textbook in math and opened up to page 200 and I jumbled them up, and said, “order them from fifth through eighth grade in order,” you'd have a very tough time because they all look the same. That's because, unfortunately, we have this national strategy of “we're not really going to teach to mastery, we're going to teach to exposure and over lots and lots of years of kids seeing page 200 in the math book, eventually somehow they're going to learn it. We're going to teach them how to reduce fractions in fifth grade, in sixth grade, in seventh grade, in eighth grade, in ninth grade and continue until finally somehow magically they're going to get it.” Instead of thinking, “let's teach the kids how to reduce fractions at a mastery level in fifth grade, maybe spend a little time reviewing it in sixth grade but let's move on to pre-algebra and let's move on to algebra then.” And that's been our take and so it's not that we have a different math curriculum as much as we have a different math strategy and a different math philosophy."

-Mike Feinberg,
Co-Founder Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP)
Making Schools Work: School-by-School Reform

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