So. My district.
No longer has Math Trailblazers.
Does have timed worksheets.
With the predictable results.
Lost the battles--all of the battles--won the war. That was my conclusion.
My district does have good math scores, comparatively speaking, and I continue to think our math scores are 'real,' not a product of random variation. But we'll see.
The appearance of timed worksheets and better math scores coincided with our losing all the battles; that part is true, too.
It's the last part that doesn't track, the lost all the battles, won the war part. Normally when people lose all the battles they lose the war, too, and that's what happened here. We lost all the battles, and we lost the war--and we got better math scores in the bargain because somewhere in there, after ten or twelve years of parent uprisings, we got timed worksheets.
The battle to get rid of Math Trailblazers culminated in the district getting rid of Math Trailblazers...and replacing it with nothing.
We have no curriculum, in my view (I'm not going to be taking this one back), and we have no textbooks. Little kids are coming home from school in tears, not knowing how to do their math homework.
When parents complain, they are told "COMMON CORE" and sent to EngageNY. Some children have gaps because of COMMON CORE, parents are told. The younger kids will be in better shape than the older kids because they started COMMON CORE from the get-go & didn't have to suddenly shift over to COMMON CORE when the state commanded schools to shift over to COMMON CORE. COMMON CORE, COMMON CORE: COMMON CORE is the problem, and COMMON CORE is the explanation of the problem, too.
So I am told.
Meanwhile our new curriculum director (another battle lost) is engaged in a multi-year effort to "map" the curriculum.
When she is done, the curriculum will be modular; we will be able to swap out old units and swap in new units whenever the state passes a new curricular mandate. No word as to whether ease of unit-swapping will solve the problem of gaps.
So yesterday I asked for a copy of the district's scope and sequence, K-12.
Not sure why I didn't do that years ago. It's funny how there are always some lines you feel you can't cross. I'm reasonably certain the district doesn't have a scope and sequence--a friend of ours was told so directly when he asked for one maybe 15 years ago--and for some reason I've felt I shouldn't put people on the spot by asking for something I'm pretty sure they don't have.
I do remember, I think, asking for copies of a math syllabus back when C. was in middle school -- I think Debbie S. may have done the same. I'll check. I think we were both told we couldn't have copies of the syllabus, but the details are hazy now....Actually, as I think about it, the then-Assistant Superintendent finally sent me a syllabus, which I discovered was for the old class with the old textbook. The district had adopted new textbooks that year, and as far as I could tell no one had written down a syllabus based on the book teachers were actually using.
I'm going to have to go through my old emails one of these days...
In any event, where the possibly apocryphal Irvington scope and sequence is concerned, now's the time. Presumably the high school classes have syllabuses (syllabi) and it's time for the community to see what K-8 has.
UPDATE: We don't have a scope and sequence and never did. Confirmed in BOE meeting of 10/22/2013.
Beyond that, I don't want to hear that young children are coming home crying over math and COMMON CORE did it.
The problem isn't COMMON CORE.
Children crying about math in Irvington long pre-dates COMMON CORE.
Heck, parents crying about math in Irvington long pre-dates COMMON CORE.
Crying and blogging.
I have to check in with Allison, who is I think on top of the NY situation vis a vis COMMON CORE math.
I love knowing someone in Minnesota who can explain my own state education department's math situation to me.
UPDATE 10/26/2013: We have replaced Math Trailblazers with "math modules" from engagny, which somebody downloads from the internet. The engageny curriculum has yet to be completed, so...let's say we have replaced Math Trailblazers with part of a curriculum. A brand-new, never been taught, never been learned from math curriculum you have to download from the internet.