Cobb Teacher: Common Core or not, textbooks are needed for students
by Don McKee
June 30, 2013 09:39 PM | 2114 views | 7 7 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Chairman Randy Scamihorn of the Cobb school board favors more focus on online resources versus expensive textbooks and other options. The following (excerpt) is in response to my endorsing his idea:

Dear Mr. McKee:

Unlike social studies, language arts and science (which can draw from multiple sources), math needs a logical progression to be understood. The lack of an up-to-date text that provides that framework is a disservice to the student in the classroom. ...

The talk of a paperless society only brings out more paper to confirm, back-up or concretize a fragile system that loses everything with a loss of power, a missed keystroke, a virus invasion or an equipment failure. A computer is creative media and makes a fine data-collector. It cannot teach unless the student is self-disciplined enough and has the time to absorb it. Though a textbook’s or workbook’s time is limited, it’s still the best tool to use when repetition is the key. It provides a focal point, promotes reading, comprehension skills and does not require electricity.

As to online resources, I can tell you that schools already face multiple roadblocks to their effectiveness in the classroom and at home. Firstly, interaction on the board is already an integral part of any lesson, but most observe as a few write (attention span is limited). Secondly, the lack of available computers for use in the classroom — most rooms have less than three. Thirdly, the computer lab facilities are limited in availability by the amount of classes that want to use them on a daily basis and must be scheduled. The student’s own computer access is limited by transportation — the time a bus arrives and leaves does not allow them to use a computer to complete assignments before/after class. The student does not always have a computer at home and ... does not always have Internet access. ... Parents do not always have time to take the child to a public library or other place where public wifi is available.

So, though I understand the Board’s need to consider costs, Mr. Scamihorn needs to see that hardbound classroom resources are necessary. Take the Board back to the classroom and give them the lesson for the day to teach. They’ll see just what it takes to prepare, present, provoke responses and record results. They will see where print materials fit in. ...

If Common Core is really about standardizing materials used nationally to achieve a higher level of basic public education, it should be in the public’s best interest that it is adopted. If it doesn't, then it should be brought to the public’s attention so that the name does not mislead and the people selling it are stopped.

We are competing in the world market and have fallen below many other countries in student achievement. We no longer have time for local control squabbles and being almost at the bottom of the states in the nation. The Board needs to seek the avenues to reach a world-class level of education for Cobb County, Georgia.

A Concerned Educator in Cobb

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Guido Sarducci
July 02, 2013
Maybe the problem is that we are too worried about the kids passing some test and not concerned enough about them learning math.

The last time I looked, we were not teaching multiplication tables, long division or very much about fractions, etc.

Maybe we have teachers who need a book to teach math because they don't comprehend it themselves.

Come on folks, math has not changed. If we are teaching kids int he 8th gradem, what we used to teach them in the 9th grade, then use 9th grade books.

Throwing money at the prpblem of inadequate math comprehension is not the answer.
July 02, 2013
Parsimonious Cobb parents give their kids the education they deserve. But that's okay. The world needs ditch diggers, too.
July 02, 2013
The teacher gets it. Scamihorn doesn't.

School starts in less than 45 days. Scamihorn's delay means that children and teachers will not have math resources when school begins.

Old timer
July 01, 2013
Math should not change that much....why are older books not good?
@ Old timer
July 02, 2013
The math has not changed. Sequence has.

The current math textbooks do not match the sequence in which students will be tested (i.e. Criterion Reference Test [CRCT] and End of Course Tests [EOCT]).

What may once have been taught in 9th grade high school, is now expected to be mastered in 8th grade middle school.

So, are we to have 8th grade middle school teachers "temporarily" borrow textbooks from their 9th grade high school counterparts?
Cobb School Advocate
July 01, 2013
Amen, well written by a classroom teacher who truly cares about education Cobb's students ! OK Glover street - stand up for your stakehlders and let the ex - Tea Party folks honk elesewhere !
To the board!
July 01, 2013
Listen to the concerned educator !
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