Common Core math textbook issue continues to stir discussion
by Don McKee
July 05, 2013 12:51 AM | 2108 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Concern about whether the Cobb school board should use Common Core textbooks or choose another option continues to stir discussion. Following is some of the feedback after this column ran comments from a “Concerned Educator in Cobb” emphasizing the need for an up-to-date mathematics textbook versus Chairman Randy Scamihorn’s focus on greater use of online resources. (Among other things, the educator suggested the school board go back to the classroom and give the lesson for the day.)

Cobb School Advocate: Amen, well written by a classroom teacher who truly cares about education Cobb’s students! OK Glover street, stand up for your stakeholders and let the ex -Tea Party folks honk elsewhere !

A Concerned Former Educator in Cobb: (1) Unlike social studies, mathematics is a pretty stable field. The same mathematical principles and systems have been used for quite some time, so there’s nothing in a brand-new textbook that can’t be found in the old textbooks already owned by the system. An “up-to-date” text is pretty much irrelevant to math. And having seen the changes in textbooks over the many years I taught. Each round of new textbooks brought more graphics, more colors, bigger type, and less information than the textbook before. After witnessing first hand the continual “dumbing down” of textbooks, I suspect students will benefit from sticking with older textbooks rather than going to newer books. (2) I’ve heard some teachers assert that the old textbooks are falling apart and can’t be used. If that’s the case, then the teachers haven’t done their jobs well: at the end of each semester, teachers are supposed to take up textbooks, evaluate the condition of those books, and charge students for any damages incurred. Those funds can be used to re-bind and/or repair textbooks. And again, speaking from experience, I am certain that the vast majority of those textbook are still quite useable, even though they may not be as bright, shiny, and colorful as a brand new book.

Guido Sarducci: 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 in the 8th grade, what we used to teach them in the 9th grade, then use 9th grade books. Throwing money at the problem of inadequate math comprehension is not the answer.

Anonymous: Parsimonious Cobb parents give their kids the education they deserve. But that’s okay. The world needs ditch diggers, too.

Resource!: 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. Shameful.

To the board!: Listen to the concerned educator!
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