Cobb students to be penalized for Common Core?
by Stanley Wrinkle
May 20, 2014 12:00 AM | 4472 views | 9 9 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This is an appeal to the Cobb County Board of Education to adopt and provide mathematics texts and instructional materials for the teachers and students of the school system next year. The board has a district rule which clearly explains how texts and instructional materials are to be adopted by the board. Last year, teachers and central staff followed this procedure to the letter, enabling the superintendent to present the recommended mathematics adoption to the board. However, a relatively small group of citizens appeared at the meeting demanding the board refuse to adopt the teacher recommended texts and materials because the group was opposed to the state’s association with the Common Core curriculum standards. The board accepted and agreed to the demands of the group and refused the teachers’ recommendations.

As a result, this past school year, teachers have had to pull together materials, much of it on their own and in many cases at their own expense, to teach mathematics. However, the most tragic result of the board allowing this group to disrupt the adoption was over 100,000 Cobb students being deprived of the mathematics program believed by their teachers to be the very best for their learning.

Board members justified their action by stating the Legislature would possibly vote for Georgia to abandon its use of the Common Core Standards and the adoption could result in a huge waste of money. The prudent thing to do, the board said, was to wait to see what the Legislature did before completing the adoption. That was done; the Legislature took no action to abandon the Core Curriculum, but no one has heard about the mathematics adoption since. Worst of all, teachers and students are headed into another school year just like the last with makeshift materials for teaching and learning.

Where was Cobb Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa after the Legislative session? Why did he not take the adoption to the board members at the next meeting and seek their approval? Some have said he did not think he had the votes for the approval. If this is true, he insulted the board members. Did he really think any board member would continue to deprive students and teachers of the math program just to continue some political fight over the Core Curriculum? That insults the good people on the board.

There is an interesting irony in this situation. The board, through its District Rule IFFA-R — Instructional Resources Selection and Adoption — mandates “The Adoption Selection Committee shall examine and evaluate the sample material based on the criteria established by district personnel. The criteria should include but not be limited to the following: (a) Accuracy of information (b) Curriculum/Common Core Georgia Performance Standards ...”

One of the criteria the board expected to be used in the evaluation of material was the justification the board used to reject the teachers’ recommendation in the end.

We are running out of time. According to the board’s current meeting schedule, the earliest an adoption could be finalized is June 26. Implementing a text and instructional materials adoption involves a massive operation, including ordering, receipt of delivery, distribution to the schools and teacher training in the use of the new adoption, just to name a few.

My appeal to the Cobb Board of Education is to call a special meeting as soon as reasonably possible for the single purpose of approving the already one year-delayed adoption of mathematics text and instructional materials.

The last point is this: Some have said again there may not be four board member votes for the adoption. This could not be true and, as stated previously, is an insult to the board. How could anyone justify delaying getting badly needed instructional materials to our teachers and students?

Surely there is not one board member who would hold an objection to Common Core and take it out on our teachers and students through delaying this adoption again just to make a political point.

If this is true, the Cobb School district is in deep trouble.

Stanley Wrinkle spent 15 of his 30 years with the Cobb School System as assistant superintendent for Instructional Services. His responsibilities included text book management. He is now retired.
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it's common sense
May 21, 2014
You can't effectively teach math without textbooks and materials. Like the emporer's new clothes, isn't that obvious?
Tes Socra
May 21, 2014
Several nearby and similar school districts are out-performing Cobb on Math testing - what are they providing in terms of materials for students and teachers - forgo the dicussion of common core and federal government intervention - let's get back to the top of the pack in metro Atlanta.

Cobb now trails Cherokee, Gwinnett, Fayette, Fulton and others whereas a just a few years ago we lead the metro and state - problem is lousy leadership on the Board and Glover Street?

Our students need to be provided the very best opportunity which means the best and most proven math materials !
SW Gal
May 20, 2014
I attended the meetings when the Common Core aligned textbooks were being considered. (1.) $7.5 MILLION for hard cover materials aligned with standards that might be changed again after the legislature met was TOO MUCH money for something that could go away in one year. (2.) Common Core math puts our children at least 2 YEARS behind international standards by the 8th grade. (3.) Younger children in grades 1-3 are not given a good basic knowledge of math based on PROVEN research. Go to the link below to see the RIDICULOUS MATH problems where a simple two-step addition becomes up to 10 steps of insanity. We want our teachers and children to have the BEST resources, not this nonsense. The board members did the right thing to not waste our tax dollars on BAD math resources. There are better resources for our teachers.
May 20, 2014
Unfortunately, you are wrong about the school board. Many of them are hell bent on not showing weakness about accepting Common Core. So much, that they are more than willing to throw 106,000 students under the proverbial school bus. It begs the question: Are some of the board members, starting with the Chair, even remotely aware that standards are a state issue not a local board of education decision? I guess not.

May 20, 2014
It's shameful that then Chair Scamihorn, and the Current Chair Angelucci failed to provide needed resources to teachers and students.

Pitiful leadership, at best if you even call it leadership.

Children are the victims.

May 20, 2014
I would be interested to know how many students failed to pass the CRCT in math. How many did not pass the EOCT in algebra and geometry this year?

Going without instructional materials has a serious repercussion on students.
Ben Twomey
May 20, 2014
Lacking the data to support it, your last statement is presuming facts not in evidence.

Moreover, it is high time the people of Georgia and our idiot governor recognized that the so-called "Common Core Curriclum" is not about education, but federal government control of out education process.

If that were not so, then the feds would not be threatening those states that have wised up and rejected it.
Call it like it is
May 20, 2014
Some school districts in Georgia have gone 15 years without purchasing textbooks and have done just fine on the CRCTs - it is the chicken or the egg conundrum; have students test scores fallen because of no textbooks or have they fallen because of Common Core. If you're not paying attention to what is happening across the country with regards to the controversial Common Core and how hideous the standards are, you are an ostrich.

Stanley Wrinkle is an old ostrich.
One plus won
May 20, 2014
I want to address the statement that denying Common Core will have serious repercussions for our children. I have a feeling that this has as much truth in it as "a relatively small group of people" when telling how many people oppose the curriculum.

We will see serious academic problems if we allow the federal government to take over another aspect of our lives, especially when it pertains to our children. We have allowed the feds to take over our healthcare system and now we are learning how well the VA has worked for our military veterans. Do we really want to allow our kids to become drones and learn about the dangers in another 10-20yrs?
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