Thursday, November 13, 2014

A few post-meeting notes on the math curriculum

I was not getting online during this morning's TLSS meeting about the math curriculum. Some retrospective notes:
The contract goes into effect after it has been accepted by both the School Committee and the City Council (because it is for six years). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is ready to go when we are. They're front-loading the contract with non-consummable resources, as well as the books and such that are consummables (there aren't any hardcovers for individual students).
The contract forwarded to the School Committee did not have the clause allowing WPS to back out of the contract after this year if it did not meet our expectations. The only termination clause from our side in the contract we received was if funds were not passed to fulfill the contract. A contract including a termination clause for curriculuar cause will be forwarded to us before our November 20th meeting.
This curriculum was created post-Common Core (it hasn't just plugged things in). It also has a large literacy component.
There is "a large parent component" to these resources, both on paper and online. There are also administrative plans for parent sessions at school and district levels in coordination with the Family Academy, to be sure that parents have chances to be comfortable with the materials.
Parents will be given a chance to weigh in, as will (at least) sixth grade students.
The materials themselves will be--we're still working out how--available for parental review, both at CPPAC and (possibly) at individual schools or downtown (or both!). I'll update once we know more.
There was a stress that, while this is a district-wide curriculum, it is but one resource being used within WPS."We need to look at teacher-created materials in particular."
Also, in response to a conversation about which test Massachusetts might go with: "Teachers should not be preparing students to take tests. Teachers should be preparing students to master standards."

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