Does kid's math have go to basics?
The necessity of new math program was questioned due to the low scores of students in Tacoma school.
The Tacoma School Board has made a decision to purchase supplemental textbooks that focuse on math facts practice after a thorough study of all the pros and cons of a new math program. This new program is called the Saxon math program, and the experts involved hope that it will help to improve math performance of the students, as the current program used in the district hasn't coped with it.
Experts claim though that it is up to the teachers to decide to what extent to use the new books. They are allowed to combine them with the existing math program. The board member Debbie Winskill commented that the process of selection of Interactive Math program (IMP), the previous one, was long but not successful. For example, it focused on the importance of multiplication and the process of applying it. The Saxon math program concetrates on practice and the math skills themselves.
Charlie Milligan, new superintendent, is worried about the low level of students' math performance. He made a proposal to buy new books and to make the prosess pf curriculum selection shorter. The cost of the new program will be around $1.8 mil. He said before that the delivery of new books will take 6 weeks. They also want to hold trainings for the teachers.
There are many comments on the decision of the board. Some residents agree that the program does not suits the students' needs, but they think that the sum for the alternation is too big. The idea to mix two different systems is not popular, as well, since there are many examples of such experiments' not being successful. Some parents worry about the process being too fast and its not corresponding to the math standards of the district.
There are supporters of the program's adoption too. Former students recall that the transfering from traditional system to integrated on was not smooth at all. There are vivid examples of success of the Saxon Math Program.
Clifford Harris, the teacher in Tahoma High School, provided his own experience of successful teaching with the Saxon Math, moreover the results of the students had substantially increased. He thinks that the beneficial point of the program is that it gives students numerous chances to review the material passed. IMP does not provide such an opportunity.
There are professionals who support implementation of the both programs, that will allow to use only advantages of the two programs. Such a statedy will aloow to pay attention to individual needs of every student.
Studies conducted showed that teachers are interested in materials that will help students to practise more. The parents' needs are also taken into consideration, since they always help their children deal with math.