Sometimes, it just isn't as simple as two plus two. Case in point, the current brouhaha down in Texas, where the State Board of Education is rejecting the third grade Everyday Mathematics program. The program currently has 20 percent marketshare in Texas, and its been credited with turning around the math scores in New York City's public schools. Despite that, Texas is expelling the program, citing its failure to prepare kids for college.Look, I am all for rigor and preparing kids for college and the workforce, but as Eduflack points out, there aren't very many 3rd graders who will be going from 3rd grade math to college math in the next couple of years.
The public criticism is that Everyday Math is not preparing kids for college. Some Texas officials rejected it because the book doesn't include multiplication tables. And an NYU computer science professor has attacked the curriculum for not preparing kids for the types of college courses he teaches.
Eduflack is the first to recognize that college readiness is all the rage these days. But how many of our third graders are planning on matriculating to postsecondary institutions this coming fall? Are third-grade math courses designed to prepare us for the rigors of college, or the rigors of middle school?
Yes, states and school districts should be given the flexibility to do what is best for their students. Even in NYC, Klein has provided waivers to those schools looking to use an alternative elementary school math curriculum. But when we attack third grade textbooks on the college readiness issue, aren't we starting to play Chicken Little?
People decry the lack of common sense in policy decisions and bureaucrats get offended. Well, with evidence like this, can't you see why the public is upset.