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Voice: New math program in ECESD approved without teacher input

March 08, 2002

It's happening again. The El Centro School Elementary District is planning to implement a new program, Every Day Math, without any real input from its teachers. You may or may not remember that the district's science and reading programs were both adopted without the teaching staff's support as well. In a day and age when good school districts are expected to share decision-making, ECESD is taking steps backward.

My understanding is that Every Day Math is a good program but very time-intensive. It can take one to two hours per day of class time to cover the material expected. One has to do the program on a daily basis or risk falling behind. Homework assignments require the help of the parents. Material presented sometimes mirrors that at much higher grade levels.

Coupling a time-consuming math program with the equally involved reading program, Open Court, makes offering a balanced curriculum extremely difficult. There is not much time for science, social studies, music, art or physical education.

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Already our nation's students are twice as obese as they were 20 years ago, and adolescents are three times as obese as they used to be. As one educator in the Midwest said, "What difference does it make if a student has a 600 SAT score if he dies of a heart attack at 20?"

I hope other teachers and parents make their views known to the district as soon as possible. The time to speak out is now.

MELODY L. PADGET

Teacher

El Centro Elementary

School District

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