In April, I wrote two articles about Parent Voice: Parent Voice: Bumps in the Road and The Rising Parent Voice. The Rising Parent Voice addresses the squabble taking place over the math curriculum in Wake County North Carolina. After parent complaints, Wake will review panel that backs controversial math program is the most recent article I have read about this squabble and what prompts me to post this.
Parent and student protests over the district’s adoption and use of Mathematics Vision Project prompted the school board to set up a committee to review the curriculum. The committee ended up defending the use of the curriculum. Parent concerns about the review are resulting in the board reviewing their appeal.
The article reports:
According to the review committee’s report, Wake has spent $1.25 million on MVP Math, with 46% of the money going toward training teachers in the new curriculum.
Critics charge that the format doesn’t teach the materials, resulting in students coming out of the class struggling to understand what they would have mastered from a more traditional math course. They say it’s forced families to pay for private tutors to help their children learn the material.
The fact the school board established a review committee is an indication the Parent Voice is being heard. The question remains as to how well the Voice is being heard. Is it possible hearing aids are in order? I think the hearing is probably just fine but the parents are responded to with well-practiced lip service.
Here are some of the recommendations of the review committee:
▪ Bringing in a third party to independently evaluate the implementation of MVP in the district.
▪ Creating a “robust” website on each school webpage to support students with homework.
▪ Delaying districtwide implementation of MVP in Math 3 so that it will be optional for schools this upcoming school year.
▪ Providing additional training for teachers to help them support students and implement MVP lessons.
At least three of these four recommendations indicate to me there are serious problems with having this program in this community (maybe okay for another community but I really doubt that).
Being willing to spend money to bring in a third party to evaluate the implementation seems like a bullheaded approach to avoiding the Parent Voice. If this program were really a good program and parents liked and wanted, would a third-party evaluation even be a consideration? Is this a case of not really listening to parents but possibly paying a third party to say what the district wants it to say? I would like to think that isn’t the case but these kinds of things do happen.
Even though I have seen a lot of websites, I am not sure what a “robust” website is and am not sure I would recognize one if I saw it. Really? A “robust” website to support students with homework. If this program is so good, would such a website be necessary? If the textbook/curriculum materials provided adequate and understandable explanations and examples would there be a need for such a website?
Teachers need additional training? I am not sure I want to open this can of worms. Besides a brief orientation to a newly adopted program, should teachers need additional training? If they do, is it because the district hired defective teachers or adopted a defective program? Defective teachers? I doubt it. Defective program? Yup! Are those hearing aids defective as well or should those who might be wearing them need replaced?
Is the Parent Voice being heard in Wake County? Will the parents be successful in getting the kind of education they want for this children?
Good for those parents in Wake County and in other places across the country that are persistent in having their voice heard with regard to the education and upbringing of their children.