Comments, ideas and concerns about the math curricula at Andover Public Schools

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What good is a curriculum that meets the Mass Frameworks if we don’t teach all of it?

From a concerned parent of an 8th grader and a 5th grader: In addition to the lack of advanced math, I’m very concerned that our 7th and 8th graders are not even completing the CMP curriculum at each grade level. What good is a curriculum that meets the Mass Frameworks if we don’t teach all of it?

In grade 7, only 5 of 8 curriculum units are completed in a typical school year. In grade 8, only 6 of 8 units are typically completed but this year they have added the new Algebra patch. So what’s going to get left out to make room for this unit?

It is unclear if this failure to complete the curriculum is caused by the pace at which APS teaches CMP or if it is a design flaw within the CMP curriculum in that it can not be completed in the standard school year. Whatever the case, we can not allow this to go on. The School Committee and the Administration must act now before another class of students is lost. The parent population has been patient; we do not need a year long study of the curriculum to see that middle school math is not working. Our peer towns are leveling with and without CMP right now, let’s at least take the first step to correct the situation for the next school year…. an advanced math class that will move at a faster pace and finish all of the curriculum units.


Anonymous said...

Actually, Franklin schools found that CMP does not align to the MA curriculum frameworks! Follow this link to notes from their School Committee meeting of two years ago:

Anonymous said...

I'm aware that other school systems do not agree with APS's assessment that CMP aligns to the MA curriculum frameworks. I was being generous in my comments in that area to take the point out of the agrument and instead to emphasis how we fail to teach all of the curriculum to our students. I think we would all agree that any curriculum would fail our students if we teach only portions of it.
Debbie Begos

Anonymous said...

That the seventh grade CMP does not cover the frameworks is an acknowledged fact. Extra math classes were needed to remedy the problem. Teachers gave up planning time and teams rearranged enrichmnents in an effort to do so within the school day. In addition, classes were given after school. It is a mistake to fault the teachers who are burdened with an ineffective, slow-paced math program. Our teachers and children are doing their best given the weaknesses of CMP. The program in place prior to the institution of CMP (also a Pearson publication) gave sufficient opportunities for hands-on exploration with more opportunity for enrichment for the talented and more practice for those who needed it. Why was there a need to fix something that wasn't broken? The math scores may have been flat, but they were HIGH and flat. If the administration wants to stick to the position of having no accelerated classes, then at least eliminate CMP. If the administration wants to stick to CMP...well, students, parents, and teachers are in a lose-lose position. Our only hope then is the School Committee will take some action on behalf of our students.