Letter: Schools must re-examine priorities

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What is the difference between constructivist math and traditional math? Your article didn’t exactly explain why parents should be concerned, or not. However, I’m not sure which is the greater concern, the math or the process.

Isn’t it the obligation of the Portland School Board, or any school board, to hold public meetings on major changes like curriculum? They went all out with the boosters consolidation issue. And isn’t it state law that the School Board should be the ultimate determinant of all things curricular – and assessments and teachers and process?

Portland has a history of bad process. The City Council especially. But the School Department has had its share of controversy, too. And just like the council’s non-inclusive processes, this Chicago Math selection and the process used to get there may just drive more parents to leave Portland schools for greener pastures.

Aside from talking with Maine educators, I interview authors from across the country on my web radio show ‘Topics In Education.” I have yet to find one person who thinks Chicago Math is good for a general population. Falmouth only makes their math curriculum work by supplementing it with extra work – traditionalist work.

City, state or nation, school systems need to rearrange their priorities. Schools exist for the benefit of children first. Parents come next. And those two groups should be at the top of the decision chain for any substantive change in the educational core.

Ken Capron
Portland

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