School Board Chooses New Math Curriculum

  • Friday, March 17, 2023
  • Hannah Campbell

The Hamilton County school board voted to approve new math curriculum to be used this fall through 2029. The 50-member textbook committee chose Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Math curriculum for elementary school and middle school. The committee chose Savvas enVision Mathematics for high school.

The new curriculum will cost $9.8 million over the six-year commitment, or about $35 per student, per year.

Each curriculum includes digital and print versions, plus workbooks, guidance for families to help at home, and training and professional development for teachers. Teachers will have the new material by May to prepare for the fall.

School board member Jill Black praised the decision to choose the same company for elementary and middle school, saying teachers had asked for this because close alignment year-to-year is so important.

The curriculum keeps pre-pandemic standards and benchmarks and gives teachers pacing guides and screeners to quickly find students who are falling behind.

School board members Rhonda Thurman and Karitsa Jones both expressed concern at the number of Hamilton County families seeking support outside the county to keep up with math and questioned modern curriculum itself.

“I think we’re frustrating the kids,” Ms. Thurman said. “We’re losing students to this nonsense.”

Ms. Thurman said her constituents widely supplement class lessons with Singapore Math curriculum, developed for Singapore public schools and now used in U.S. public schools and in homeschooling.

Ms. Jones said it’s common for families to hire tutors, for math as well as literacy, because parents can’t help their kids. The parents aren’t “dumb,” she said, it’s the way it’s taught, she said.

“This is across all 11 districts, and I’m just really concerned about what that means,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Justin Robertson said the department will establish math nights, like literacy nights, and invite families to learn about the curriculum and how to help at home.

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