What right-thinking parent or taxpayer would consider this an acceptable situation?

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm

It is a truism that good teachers don’t allow themselves to be “hemmed in” by a curriculum with obvious shortcomings, but rather naturally begin working to patch up or otherwise supplement deficient curricula to ensure that the needs of each individual student is met.

That said, consider oxygen-sucking effect of reform/constructivist math programs in schools like Travell in which the teachers, though plenty smart, do not necessarily have sufficient courage to defy Ms. Botsford and Principal Leninger, known devotees of this nonsense?

Savvy parents are aware that such timid teachers (typically young) are far more likely to “drop the ball” in this regard than more experienced teachers possessing more gravitas or “oomph”. Some of these parents decide that the best reaction to this situation is to do whatever they imagine will help them influence class assignment process in their child’s or childrens’ favor. So it is not uncommon to see parents become extremely deferential to the principal, as well as unflinchingly, unquestioningly supportive of the stated (and unstated) goals of the district.

In the meantime, individuals like Ms. Botsford and Ms. Leninger, who know all too well the hobbling effect that reform/constructivist math programs is having on our children in terms of preparing them for STEM (science/technology/engineering/math) professions are as committed as ever to the continued, even expanded, use of inferior curricula in our schools.

Based on the results of the recent BOE election, many parents are sanguine about the current situation, in which annual strokes of the principal’s pen, combined with the particular Ridgewood neighborhood in which you bought your house, can place real limitations on the educational and professional options your child will hold in the future.

What about grade school or middle school parents who have already gone public with their dissatisfaction with the math curriculum? Do these individuals deserve any sympathy or support? According to some, the answer is no–we should all continue to whistle past the graveyard.

I’m so tired of people hiding behind requests for “pro-active” ideas and suggestions, when what they are really trying to do is intimidate people into not speaking out.

The Ridgewood district’s problems with subject matter curricula are bad, and are getting worse quickly. The arguments in favor of change are now quite mature, well-developed, unrefuted by district administrators keen to keep a lid on this debate, and well-supported by recent studies that employ traditional, time-tested scientific methods. Travell is facing another year of TERC/Investigations purgatory at a minimum. What right-thinking parent or taxpayer would consider this an acceptable situation?

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  1. Thank you to whoever posted this. I agree this is not an acceptable situation.

    Hey Laurie Goodman, I didn’t vote for you, but didn’t you pledge to improve communication?

    I would appreciate if you would communicate answers to these questions:

    1. Now that reform math has been discredited by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, how are the Ridgewood schools going to respond?

    2. How much longer are we going to have TERC at Travell, and CMP2 in the middle schools? Are we tied to costly contracts?

    3. When can I stop supplementing TERC with real math at home?

    4. Are their plans to ‘reform’ the sciences to discovery-based curricula? If so, what are they?

    5. Can Travell parents take a per-child TERC property tax credit of $1200 to pay for Kumon?

  2. 4:18 great questions. why not email them to her. see if she will communicate with you and answer them.

  3. I love number 5.

  4. “What right-thinking parent or taxpayer would consider this an acceptable situation?”

    There there you go again. There are not many “right-thinking parents” in Ridgewood, otherwise Shelia and her running mate, Laurie Goodman, would not have been elected to the BOE.

  5. This reform curriculum craziness is spreading like wildfire. Oradell schools have decided to adopt Everyday Math and the parents have been told to throw away their flash cards, etc., no more drilling of facts with their children.

  6. Doesn’t Sheila live in the Travell area? How come her neighbors haven’t impressed on her the importance of this issue? Or have they… and she just ignores it?

  7. 741 shelia was voted in by a land slide she could care less what you have to say

  8. Sheila also does not have any children left in the school system(which should be a requirement for BOE members). Her kids got the benefit of traditional math education, so why should she care? This entire BOE keeps their heads in the sand while our district is losing its previous excellence.

  9. Sheila lives in the Travell area and the Travell area voted to oust her.

  10. To 11:44 AM –

    To paraphrase 7:55 AM:

    shelia was voted in by a land slide she could care less what the Travell area has to say

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