Thursday, April 2, 2009 Sign the petition against TERC math | click here for the link

Math Investigations is a highly controversial math program that has been removed in states, counties, and districts across the country. When you begin to read the research and unravel the data, you will begin to understand what the Board of Education, teachers, and administrators may not want you to know.

If you are the parent of a student in kindergarten, second or fourth grade, have you noticed that math classes have too much emphasis on writing and statistics and too little emphasis on foundationalskills needed for algebra? If you have not already taken notice of what your child is learning in math, or even if you think your child is doing fine, I urge you to read on. If you are the parent of first or third-grader who has not yet experienced TERC math, please take some time to read this letter because TERC will be part of your nightmare next year. Math Investigations, aka TERC math, was implemented this year in kindergarten, second and fourth grades throughout Frederick County Public Schools. This program has drawn much criticism. Math Investigations avoids the concepts of carrying, borrowing, and least common denominators. It de-emphasizes the use ofstandard algorithms, de-emphasizes the mastery of math facts, and covers too many topics per grade. Additionally, there is reason to question the way in which the program was implemented in regard to the reference of increasing standardized test scores, as well as the lack of formal notification to all parents regarding its implementation. Math Investigations is a highly controversial math program that has been removed in states, counties, and districts across the country. When you begin to read the research and unravel the data, you will begin to understand what the Board of Education, teachers, and administrators may not want you to know. Just one Google search throws out a million red flags and shows why the Board of Education was clearly negligent in approving this program. We witnessed the red flags when our fourth-grader, who attends Twin Ridge Elementary School, was not completing math problems by using traditional algorithms. Instead, she was using another method of computing that was long, drawn out and inefficient. It wasn’t until February, after speaking to other parents about these concerns, and reading a letter to the editor regarding TERC math, did we realize that not only was traditional math not the primary method being taught, it was barely being taught at all. This school year, parents have trickled in to their schools to speak with teachers and principals. The familiar and consistent response has been that Math Investigations is a new “resource,” but just one of the many resources available to teachers to ensure that every child can learn math in the way that is most conducive to his/her own learning style.2/2/13 Sign the petition against TERC math 2/2 I quickly learned through Frederick Education Reform, a group that has been slowly gaining momentum in Frederick County, that FCPS not only implemented a questionable resource, but also a very expensive one. (Cost of $242,000 annually for TERC Math Investigations workbooks.) There are many facts to share, but one fact is stunningly clear. According to Wilfried Schmid of Harvard University, “students who follow a TERC math curriculum are two years behind where they should be by the end of 5th grade” (June 2001). Frederick Education Reform has collected nearly 600 signatures on a petition to remove TERC math Investigations from FCPS: www.petitiononline.com/FERTERC. If you are a concerned parent who wants to be involved in ensuring that a strong and rigorous math program is at the core of your child’s elementary school math experience, sign the petition today. For information on the TERC math controversy, and to become involved, join our neighborhood forum a www.i-neighbors.org/21771/TRES.

Donnamarie Needle, Mount Airy

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