Math Excellence in Columbia Missouri Public Schools sign now

An increasing number of parents and community leaders have expressed concern about the various math curricula currently used in the Columbia Public Schools (CPS). These experimental math programs go by the names of Investigations (TERC), Connected Math (CMP) and Integrated Math (Core Plus) and they emphasize "self-discovery" over mathematical competency. We are concerned because these curricula have been discredited and abandoned in other regions of the country after they failed to deliver demonstrable results. The failed curricula are currently the only method of instruction in the elementary grades and middle schools. At higher grade levels, CPS has actively discouraged students from enrolling in math courses that place more emphasis on widely accepted standard methods. And, while implementing and evaluating these programs, the Columbia School District did not provide open access to meetings or adequately consider the concerns of professional mathematicians, parents and community leaders.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, would like to express our deep concern with the following issues and to propose that the Columbia School District adopt the following goals:

1. Protect the right of students to become computationally fluent in mathematics. We expect students to receive direct instruction in standard algorithms of all mathematical operations and laws of arithmetic so that they can master the skills that allow fast, accurate calculation of basic problems. This goal cannot be met with the current Investigations/TERC math curriculum for lower grade levels.

2. Ensure that math instruction is flexible enough to allow for various learning styles and is age and grade-level appropriate. The elementary level should focus on math standards that will build a solid base of mathematical skills for ALL students. Middle school curricula should build a bridge between the fundamental arithmetic learned in elementary school and the more abstract concepts taught in high school. At both the elementary and middle school levels the curricula should allow teachers the flexibility to meet the needs of all types of learners. This goal cannot be met with the Connected Math program currently used in middle and junior high schools.

3. Offer secondary school math options that meet the diverse needs of older students. Choice in math instruction after elementary and middle school is appropriate. Options should be fully explained to parents and students, without bias or pressure to choose a particular path. Parents and students should be encouraged, by teachers and administrators, to thoughtfully evaluate placement recommendations throughout the high school years, but especially at the initial selection point. Secondary course options should always include universally accepted courses in algebra, geometry and precalculus, as those have proven successful, particularly for National Merit Scholars and for students in Advanced Placement courses.

4. Actively encourage participation from parents and other community members. Creating a more open process will result in a more robust math curriculum in Columbia Public Schools. Outside perspectives will help guide the district as it sets standards and chooses curricula to successfully meet those standards. Possible participants include professional mathematicians, engineers, scientists and business leaders. Participants should have no vested interest in National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded math curricular programs. Parents and students should also have access to textbooks with substantive mathematics content at all grade levels to facilitate math study outside of class time.

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Latest Signatures

  • 18 January 2016649. Patricia B
    I support this petition
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  • 26 December 2015645. Robert S
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  • 23 December 2015643. Ethan W
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  • 19 December 2015642. Stanislav K
    Columbia Public School proudly claims that 70+\% of its high school graduates go to college. May be it then should do something to prepare our kids for it. I don't want a curriculum with fancy name, I want a curriculum that would have groups and fields an
  • 18 December 2015641. Joe G
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  • 17 December 2015640. Alisa Gf
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  • 15 December 2015639. Brenda V
    My husband was amazed to discover that our daughter who has consistently received As in Math courses and can not do long division as a freshman in high school. We are now very concerned that when she does go to college she will not be prepared at the coll
  • 14 December 2015638. Mark R
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  • 10 December 2015637. John Durham
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  • 10 December 2015636. David P
    Please stop teaching the "dumbed down", feel good, experimental integrated math that has been a failure throughout the country and resume teaching traditional math so students will have a chance to excel in mathematics.
  • 07 December 2015635. Stacey H
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  • 25 November 2015629. Igor I
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  • 23 November 2015628. Tracy Greeverricep
    I see the names of many, many folks on this petition who can provide a qualified opinion on the math skills needed to succeed in higher education. Please quit short changing our children. The 'take away' question we should be asking ourselves is 'What is
  • 20 November 2015627. Nicole F
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Eugene PonceBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Columbia Public Schools Board of Education and Superintendent Phyllis Chase

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