Letter: Math curriculum doesn't add up
Published 11:38 am, Friday, November 16, 2012
An Oct. 24 open house on the Fairfield Public Schools' new way of teaching math should have been an opportunity for the administration to ease parents' concerns and clarify misunderstandings. Instead, it accomplished the opposite.
It was disappointing to watch the administration take such a defensive and dismissive posture with parents, especially at a time when what is most important are clear and transparent lines of communication and collaboration.
With budget cuts, significant loss of the world-language curriculum, cuts in late bus service, large administrative changes and the loss of staff, one would have thought the administration would have appreciated the need for open and effective communication with parents.
It is unacceptable that the senior-administrative staff provided incorrect information, denied that our children are involved in a pilot program -- refuted two days later by the director of curriculum -- and is unwilling address parents questions and concerns at another forum.
It is the Board of Education's responsibility to approve all curriculum changes, and that should include launching a pilot program.
The new demands on our curriculum to meet the guidelines of common-core standards are massive. Why was this not presented to the Board of Education before it was implemented, and why were parents not involved in preparing for the change?
The new math curriculum is not receiving rave reviews. It has not been successful in California and is not being used elsewhere in Connecticut. So how and why was this curriculum chosen? What makes the administration think it will be successful in Fairfield?
As a parent and taxpayer, I want to make sure that my tax dollars are spent on a program with a goal of preparing our children for the future and one that meets the needs of all our children. I am not convinced this one does.
Everyone in the process has to be held accountable for this to work -- the teachers, the principals, the parents and the administration. Until the central office staff begins to accept its accountability to the other participants in this process, it is unclear whether our children will succeed. I ask that the superintendent engage the parents, students and the Board of Education in this process. Please, let's work together for the education of our children.