**How You Can Help Your Child!**

** Write your BOE*

** Pass this email to 10 of your friends*

** Have your student write in the blog,*

** Sign the petition!!*

**We Support Teachers Teaching!**

Dear Parents;

Did you know . . . Some math teachers in Fairfield Public School are only allowed to teach students 5 to 8 minutes per class under a new curriculum called College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM)?

Did you know . . .This new math curriculum is being used without the vote of the Board of Education and without proper textbooks provided to students?

Did you know . . .Many students in Algebra I and Algebra II are struggling to learn under this self-taught or student-taught curriculum?

Here’s How The New Math Curriculum Works Under College Preparatory Mathematics or CPM, teachers spend a small fraction of class time on new concepts (5 to 8 minutes). The reminder of valuable instructional time is allocated to students teaching themselves math concepts working in small groups with group grading. www.cpm.org

Teachers merely serve as facilitators monitoring students and reinforcing a productive learning experience.

Teachers are not allowed to provide answers. Instead, they ask students to predict the answers to math questions.

Memorization and skill practice are de-emphasized.

Math problems focus on reading and writing.

Students are encouraged to guess to find equations and then check to see if they are correct… if not, try again.

Students, Working In Groups of 4, Are Assigned Roles:

■ Resource Manager: This student is the only one allowed to ask “team questions” to the teacher. He/She gets the supplies for the team.

■ Facilitator: This student reads the task out loud. He/She makes sure each student understands and is on task.

■ Recorder/Reporters: This student shares the team’s results with the class.

■ Task Manager: This student keeps the team focused on the assignment and monitors if anyone is talking outside of his/her team.

We know of only one school district Mansfield School District in Connecticut currently using CPM. School districts in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington have dropped CPM. Why is our district using the CPM curriculum?

What We Want We respectfully request that the Fairfield Board of Education immediately stop using this new curriculum (CPM) and teaching methodology to teach our children.

Instead, we request that either:

(a) A new curriculum be developed by the Administration looking to outstanding school districts as models or

(b) Singapore Mathematics, a successful curriculum used in Westport, Wilton, and Bridgeport, be implemented in our district. Link to Singamore Math Site.

This petition is sponsored by “Fairfield Math Advocates”, a group of parents concerned about our children’s education. You can contact us directly by emailing us at ffldmathadvocates@sbcglobal.net.

Please support by signing our petition and forwarding to fellow Fairfield Public School parents.

Scott Pennell,

Mary Gessner,

Wanda Breuer,

Jay Gross,

Colleen Sullivan,

Martha Sari,

Kelly Crisp,

Thank you!

Shannon Kavanaugh,

I am for Singapore Math!

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Monica Zwynenburg,

Joann DeMaso,

Andy Brown,

Please listen to the voice of the people - select Singapore Math program. I taught math at a private high school in Andover, MA, at a private university and at a local community college. Having diverse experience with multiple curricula at multiple levels with different text books, I strongly urge the BOE to proceed with the the Singapore Math text (understanding text books and curriculum are not one in the same)...thank you.

Lori Blessey,

Amanda Soderlund,

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I cannot attend the BOE meeting on 2/20/13 but want to voice strongly for the Singapore Math Primary which is used in Westport and Weston. Those schools have tested it and their scores show that it works when taught as it was created and not modified or "dummied down". In addition, I feel the public school ciriculumn is quickly going downhill. One of the main reasons we moved to this area was the high ranking school system and that is no longer the case according th the state statistics. I also feel strongly that there has to be more focus on the children that are "average" and "above average" and not change the ENTIRE ciriculmn for children that need more help. We should be looking at our school education system in its entirely as a country and not subject by subject.

Alissa Gatenby,

Rick Krollman,

April Clyne,

Becky Brown,

Cindy Wallace,

Deb Lee,

Suzanne Kestra,

Nicole Miranda,

Isabel Gedeon,

CPM is a proven failure on all levels...most importantly for our children. Our neighboring districts are successfully using Singapore Math...why would we knowingly accept anything less from the BOE?

courtney yanni,

Please choose the Singapore Math book!

Bernadette Ceruzzi,

Robin Righter,

Melissa Kinasewitz,

Annie Crino,

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Kelly Jacobson,

Liz Nosenzo,

Kevin Beaurline,

Why the BOE would even consider implementing an elementary school math program that ALL the experts determine is damaging to our children, fails to prepare our them for middle and high school education, as well as their future careers and lives is egregiously irresponsible at best. Wake up Central office, Wake up BOE, wake up curriculum "leaders", READ what the experts are saying about the various math curriculums, and the results that each yields. You have a responsibility to do what is best for our children and their futures.

Anne L. Beaurline,

Extremely unhappy with the math curriculum at the elementary school math level. It makes no sense - what was wrong with the 'old fashioned' way of learning math? Due to the new method, I am unable to help my children with their work and they have a hard time explaining the processes to me. We have encountered hours of tears and frustration. If it ain't broke, why fix it?!

peg ellwanger,

this is a disgrace!!! Many thanks to all the parents who have dedicated their energy to this effort. This would do a MAJOR disservice to all children!

Stephanie Weiss,

Jocie Jandovitz,

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Katie Graham,

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Georgina Lovell,

Abi Varsos,

It really does suck

Neysa McDonald M.D.,

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Not at all happy with the new curriculum, esp when they are using the 8th grade class as guinea pigs! How are these kids ever going to catch up? Shall we send our tutoring bills to the district?

Patricia Russo,

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Terence Devine,

What was the catalyst for a revamp in the curriculum and choosing CPM? Who made this decision?

Lisa Caramico,

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cheryl guibone,

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nancy kelley,

Stacie Kenney,

Heather Crum,

I'm hopeful that a credible math program with proven results will be implemented in Q1 2013 to replace this system.

Suzanne Miska,

To have the administration step over the line and disregard the parents' and the BOE to put this pilot program in play is unacceptable. To have witnessed the defensive and dismissive nature of the Administration in their dealings with the parents' concerns was alarming. The checks and balances are gone and the system is failing. We can no longer accept a budget that increases in spending on Administration and decreases spending on our childrens' education. This has to stop now!

kate daniello,

I support teachers teaching

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This new method does not work. US education already falls behind other countries so this will not help our children to learn math effectively

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Margo Phillips,

This system doesn't work. We are supposed to be giving our children the best education possible. CPM is putting our children at a disadvantage.

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Yes, my son entered Freshman year getting an A on the entry assessment test, a B the next, and a C- on the next. I have since gotten involved and was dismayed when downloading the "text" to see sparse and vague material. There was nothing that could be used as a "reference" to review concepts or gain understanding of the material independently through a chapter review. Can we get some objective unbiased professionals to review this text for structure, content, and ease of use for the student ... and maybe some good alternative suggestions so that we are coming to this problem with some solutions, and not just complaints? The clock is ticking ...

And yes, our kids deserve a textbook that has answers to at least the odd problems so they can, in one book, without the computer, check if they are on the right track. This book will have all the references needed in case they didn't get it in class, and the glossary at their fingertips so they can access any new math terminology that they are unsure of. Everything should be there in one book!

Wendy Bentivegna,

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the fact that the kids do NOT GET A TEXTBOOK is insanity. using a computer to scroll and find information is very difficult and time consuming.

Nancy Lyons,

Wai Cheung,

Nancy Cheung,

Nancy Cheung,

Elizabeth West,

maura brum,

Gabrielle Miller,

I think it is a disgrace that a Math curriculum would be initiated in the Fairfield Public schools without the appropriate approval. It is hard to understand why all the other neighboring districts chose Singapore Math and we are stuck with CPM. Our children are being but at a disadvantage.

Kristen Morison,

samantha stout,

I cannpot make it to the 12/11 meeting to make my voice heard on this point, but I could not be more concerned about this approach. I absolutely object to this peer-to-peer teach method at this age.

Jennifer Eyikan,

Eileen Liu,

Annie Braley,

Eileen McCormack,

Milissa Schramm,

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I am not convinced this is the way to teach math. Have a friend whose daughter graduated high school last year in Branford and had to take remedial math in college. With the new education reform in this state, I hear the State of CT colleges are now not going to teach remedial math any longer. What will happen to the kids if they don't get a good education in high school? I vote no!

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Have a friend whose daughter graduated high school last year from Branford and had to take remedial math in college. I hear the State of CT colleges are now not going to teach remedial math any longer. What will happen to the kids if they don't get a good education in high school? I vote no!

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Loraine Orban,

Leigh Clemente,

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Rianne Sappern,

Usually my daughter is an A student in math with little need for extra help. This year we have had to hire a weekly math tutor. She is very, very unhappy in math class.

Jon Kenton,

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The BOE is there for a reason- bring this new curriculum before THEM

Laura Lawlor,

Clare Coyne,

Eileen B. Wheeler,

Theresa Fitzgerald,

Melissa Aldridge Carlson,

pat byrne,

Nancy Wechsler,

Susan Pinzon,

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Lynn,

Sue Seyfried,

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Diane Burton,

Amanda Marino,

Nora Fanning,

jackie davis,

Manisha Mehta,

Although the assigned roles for the group in theory make sense, too much is dependent on which kids are in a group and what the motivation-level and strengths of each child are.

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Pat Curtin,

The CPM curriculum seems like a very ineffective way to teach math. Many of the students I know benefit from more teacher instruction which is why they go for extra help, or have outside tutors. All three of my children say they don't like working in groups, especially in Math: "one student does all the work, and everyone get the same credit" and "everyone has a different idea of how to do it, so it just gets more confusing." I can't understand why the BOE would have pushed this through, and why they would have ruled out Singapore math. We need to change this NOW, or it could take years of hard work, and poor performance, to have it changed later.

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Beth Cogan,

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This math program doesn't teach me anything and it is hard to understand book.

Anissa assous,

JEN GARDNER,

Andrea Benway,

Jane Michener,

Sara LaTerza,

Liz Neugebauer,

Alexandra Preschlack,

Tom Brennan,

George Pushner,

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Danielle Bartlett,

Julie Roneson,

Mary Ellen Connelly,

judie fixler,

jo senecal,

I've been talking with the brainiest, geekiest, most awesome math teachers outside our district who DeSpiSe this CPM structure. Really wondering why it's hitting us so quickly and under the radar. This needs more brilliance to continue...

Barbara Franzino,

It is unacceptable to allow the use of this curriculum in our school district.

Valerie Hebert,

Dina Leon,

Virginia Blaker,

This new curriculum sounds just awful as well as a detriment to our schools.

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when most kids who have preciously gotten excellent grades become bewildered and are as a group not producing as they were, there is no coincidence -- this is not about one student, it is about the vast majority of learners, and sadly, they are not learning well under this new method

Cesar Doulis,

Teale Stevens,

Check out Khan academy free math tutorial on line

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My daughter is taking statistics and she is living proof that this system does not work. Statistics is being taught in a reading format rather than number format. Teacher doesn't agree with curriculum either but he must follow it. In turn, he and my daughter have to stay after school to do 1:1 private tutoring for her to understand the curriculum. i took statistics recently in college and it was never taught this way. I understood it and did well because of the way it was taught. Curriculum matters!

Teale Stevens,

Check out Khan academy free math tutorial on line

Pam Greenhut,

Karen Nash,

The year is almost half over! Please show your support if you're concerned about your kids math education.

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Students in Asia do much better than American students in math. Singapore way may help our children better.

Dawn llewellyn,

Teachers need to teach. Students need to learn. Differentiation needs to exist in content. One size does not fit all. Our district's standardized test scores need to improve, so why would our district select such a controversial, unsound program... funding/grant? Are we their experiment?

Deirdre Germain,

Nancy Fox,

Karen Moncho,

It is ridiculous to think children can teach themselves with minimal supervision. Please use good common sense & get rid of this program immediately and get our poor children back on track!

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My child should not be responsible for teaching another child math. Moreover, she feels personally responsible when children in her group get questions wrong on tests. She thinks she didn't teach them well enough. This is ridiculous!!

Kathleen Flynn,

Stacey Cardenas,

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now we have to pay for tutors. the town should pay!!!!

Cynthia Sprinkle,

Isabelle Johansen,

This program is a total disaster for my son in 9th grade.

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Catherine Groener,

susan Ei,

Vessy Doulis,

Karen Zilora,

Do not go down this road of constructivist math. It was a total disaster for our district--41% of 7th and 8th graders failed the state mandated tests one year. After a long battle, we finally got rid of the program (along with the superintendent). Our math scores now are near the top of the county and one of our elementary schools was recognized as the top in our state!

Beth Posner,

John Marson,

Nancy von Euler,

Daphne Mitchell,

Sounds like the Singapore math is the way to go!

Michelle Berg,

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Laura Whitman,

Kelly Anne Sohigian,

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These kids are not in a position to teach others. The teachers have to teach the right way to solve things and then have the kids explore other solutions. Otherwise, the students grasp and response will be slower. We should adopt the proven Singapore Math concepts.

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susan marcus,

This needs attention right now! For years parents have been offering solutions that the BOE has ignored.

Maya Simonian,

Joyce Gallagher,

not working for my kid

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Don't experiment on our kids. If you want change, move to Singapore Math which is proven and has been adopted by a few well respected neighboring towns. Teachers need to teach and support education with sound facts not leaving it up to 11-14 year olds working in groups with varying levels. Middle school children are too young for this. I agree in the real world this will be the case, however the ones that excel get promoted with greater responsibility and challenge not become bored and under challenged waiting for their co-workers to catch up. How did this get pushed through by the committee when there are so many parents in the community against this. Where is the interest here?

Cathleen Caione,

I have an 8th grader and freshman in Fairfield Public Schools and the current math program is failing both children. It simply doesn't work! Haven't we wasted enough time? I hope the Board of Education listens to the parents, teachers and students and does something to change this program immediately.

Susan Byrne,

Nadine Nizet,

Tricia Donovan,

We urge the BOE to act quickly in the best interest of our children.

Upset Parent!,

Agreed

Not only is the new program failing a large number of children, but the change of Algebra1 textbook without board approval is contrary to CT General Statute 10-229. Where is the accountability for how our education dollars are being spent?

If so many parents are concerned about this method why is the BOE so wed to implementing this CPM program? Particularly when there are so many other globally and nationally acknowledged math teaching strategies like Singapore Math available. It’s simple, dont implement something when there is this much contraversy, particularly when there are viable alternatives. It may be a shock to administrators but parents are equally if not more qualified to decide what strategies work for their kids. In Math class I see the objective to be trying to make each INDIVIDUAL student excellent at math. Everyone knows that the more time you spend with a pro ( teacher) the faster you learn! Of course group projects can reinforce but they cannot replace being taught by an expert. Learning Team dynamics is important but a different topic and skill that should not interfere or be confused with MATH.

So why is the BOE so wed to CPM?

That’s a very good question. Another is why would you pilot across an entire grade, when a pilot is a small scale study? And yet another is why didn’t anyone on the board know about the fact that there was a new book, or that it was being “piloted?” That is not supposed to happen. There way too many questions surrounding this new book being used across the entire Algebra 1 population. I hope you and others will come to the BOE meeting tonight to voice your concerns.

I left the BOE. Meeting at 11 pm. It seemed very productive but I missed the public comment and what next steps are. Can anyone give me the update?

Shame on you!!!!!!! This math program is terrible and our kids are not learning!!!! We might as well get rid of teachers since they no longer teach!!!! Why aren’t we doing singapore math like our surrounding towns!!!! Allyson Burns

Our children deserve better. Where is the statistical information this method is better then the old math or Singapore Math? Teachers spending 5-8 minutes per class to teach a classroom full of children? Really? The Board Of Education should be ashamed of themselves for failing to deal with the real issues. We need to stop this NOW. Thank you for shedding light on the ‘new math’ program, which is a waste of our time and money.

Conceptually it sounds very interesting but it does not seem to be working. All I know is that my daughter has a lot of difficulty with her homework and constantly vents her frustration with her teacher “not teaching them.” It really disappoints me because I know that her math teacher is known to be a very effective teacher — but this program ties her hands. The idea of getting the kids more hands-on and working collaboratively sounds great in theory but there is one problem: Despite our best efforts to encourage otherwise, middle school is about “fitting in.” And when kids see the possibility of peers labeling them “a math nerd” or “totally clueless,” they are going to keep to themselves and not work to potential. Most middle-schoolers lack the social maturity to thrive in this kind of situation. They’d rather get left behind than admit to being the only one who doesn’t understand. And its unfair to expect the best students to shoulder the burden of teaching the others. This seems like a dangerous program for teachers too. If they are only “facilitating” 5-8 minutes of classtime, why wouldn’t someone looking to cut budgets suggest letting 2/3 of the teachers go and have one teacher rotate from class to class? Or why not facilitate from a webcam to 100 kids instead of 20?

Tara, I think you raise a critical point. well said.

This instructional model sounds very similar to the new elementary school model for instruction. Last year, Dwight piloted the new model, and I must admit, my then fifth grader was a fan. Math became more interesting for her. While the teacher was giving a short formal lesson at the beginning of class, the teacher was by no means “not teaching” during the rest of the class. Instead, she was working with children in small groups. She was discussing the different ways a problem could be solved. She was listening to the children’s strategies on how they would solve the problem. Sometimes strategies didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean kids aren’t learning. Problem solving often involves trial and error. The teacher was an active participant in the class; she was still teaching, but on a more personal level. I do have some concerns at the middle school and high school level. I think kids are being accustomed to being lectured to, being told how to solve the problem. This new model is likely to freak some kids (and teachers) out I can see there being a learning curve; it may take a little while for kids (and teachers) to get used to it. Over time, this will lessen because this will be the model from elementary school on up. One of my biggest concerns with this new model is that teachers are not receiving the professional development they need to implement it correctly. When I hear students in the upper grades complaining that “he doesn’t teach”, “he just reads from the book and expects us to figure it out”, or a teacher telling his class that he “hates” the new curriculum, I worry that the system isn’t working the way it is intended. In order for kids to thrive under this new model, it seems teachers need to be even more engaged with their students. I would be curious to see some data on how the pilot worked at Dwight (since it was a pilot school at elementary level.) Did test scores go up, go down or remain neutral?

The questions you pose at the end of your post are good. Unfortunately, CPM was never piloted. Instead CPM has been implemented in Algebra I and Algebra II. Likewise, the elementary program was implemented and approved by the BOE prior to review of the pilot data. It is generally understood the data that was ultimately released was far from statistically relevant. Rather, it was the compilation of subjective testing. The pilot was not properly administered as there were too many outside factors that were not taken into account. Rather, Wakeman put forth a disjointed set of information to support his conclusion.

I would ask that you please take the time to read the numerous articles attached to this website to obtain a better understanding of what a disaster CPM has been in other districts. Unfortunately, this form of teaching instruction does not allow teachers to be more engaged with their students.

Isn’t it being piloted right now? The BOE did not vote on this curriculum? I did not attend the middle school math night so I will admit, I am not fully educated on this issue. I am somewhat going off what happened at the elementary school level at Dwight, and what I have seen over the years with my older daughter who is a sophomore now.

I did read some of the articles, but it still doesn’t seem that clear cut to me. I need more info–from this group and from central office.

When the BOE was discussing the elementary curriculum, there was criticism that new text didn’t accompany the new curriculum. At that point, we were told, that a text should only be used as tool, that it should not drive curriculum. There was also concern that parents were having trouble with this new way of approaching math as it is very different from how we learned math. Feedback from parents was that they wanted resources. From what little I read about CPM, it does seem that it provides parents with assistance in understanding this new approach to math. I am not defending CPM, just trying to make a little sense of why the district might be making the choices it is making at this point in time.

At the end of the day, teachers should be the ones driving the curriculum. I will say that in my experience, however, when kids are in middle school, and take algebra, there are kids who suddenly find math challenging. Kids and parents are shocked when they are suddenly struggling in math (or working harder). Kids were being tutored under the old program as well, so I would be careful to use this as justification that this new program is failing. Would also be careful about using other districts test scores as justification for choosing/not choosing a math program as many other factors, aside from the textbook being used, could influence those test scores (amount kids receiving additional tutoring, caliber of teachers, how many kids are taking the test, etc.)

I do hope that central office answers the question about Singapore Math. Did they consider it, and if so, why did they decide against it? Would also like to hear the point of view of the teachers. When the new elementary math curriculum was developed, many teachers helped write the curriculum. Is that also happening at the middle school level? Is there teacher support for this new program?

Thank you for leading the charge in bringing this issue more into the public eye. I hope parents show up at tomorrow’s meeting, for no other reason, than to become more informed.

I hope you do come to the Board meeting so you can be educated about how your Sophomore will most likely be taught math in the near future. I agree, Algebra can be harder, but not with a good teacher. Of course people have always gotten tutors for their kids, but not like this year. Why would so many parents be up in arms, if it was just like every other year. As a parent of a Sophomore, you can understand how important grades are in high School. The Algebra program was rolled out for 9th grade, as well, this year. I’m not sure what math level your daughter is in, but how will you feel next year if, in her Junior year, you daughter suddenly starts to get C’s and D’s? How well would she be prepared for the SATs? This book/program doesn’t allow the teacher to teach. Plain and simple.

So tired of excuses and cover ups. Come on BOE just do your job. You guys are just like Congress!

In what universe are our children qualified to teach one another mathematics? I understand that this new math curriculum can be beneficial for some but it is a complete nightmare for my child. She has gone from being an A student to and C student. She is constantly struggling with a team members for their cooperation to no avail and group work is a very distracting. My husband and I have considered hiring a tutor only find out there are none available that understand this new math. Math wizards I ask you, where is the logic?

These posting are very articulate and as a new comer to this website, I must say I fear this advocacy group is still a minority. We must spread with word this winter order to make a difference in the vote come May. Get the email forwards going with this link I dare say!

This method of teaching in my humble opinion is a socialized philosophy at it’s best – and I do not mean to name blame here. Where “everyone” must be taught on the same barometer and then measured based on the success of each other in this “team approach”, the individual child and his/her own effort, capacity and achievement is lost.

When I went to the parent introduction night this fall, my child’s math teacher was extremely agitated and concerned about this program and I didn’t quite even understand at the time what she was referring to. So I know while they are being politically correct in many ways on this subject, we must trust our instincts. We know in our gut our teachers WANT TO TEACH the way they were trained and this program is not it. I wonder how we can get the teachers union opinion or are they taking the fifth? All I can say is I am sure glad I signed my kids up for Kumon Math to supplement their Fairfield Math Education right now. You all might consider the same until this is sorted out.