From Harford County Public Schools:
The Everyday Math Focus Algorithm Parent Academy will be held on Friday, January 28, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. at the Center for
Educational Opportunity (Room 143), 253 Paradise Road, Aberdeen, MD 21001. This program is designed to help parents of
elementary school children understand the alternative algorithms used in math classes in grades 1-5. For more information and/
or to RSVP, please contact Denise Lamphere, Office of Mathmatics, at 410-588-5303 or Denise.Lamphere@hcps.org
Everyday Math has been removed from curriculum in other districts around the state and country because it’s been a failure. Talk to almost any middle school teacher and they’ll tell you that a majority of the kids entering middle school lack the skills to complete assignments on grade level.
We’ve struggled with EM with both of our kids and have decided to teach them the “old fashioned way” at home so they’re ready for middle school, since (from what I’ve been told) they need to do it that way once they hit middle school anyway. So, if they can’t solve the problem using EM methods, at least they’ll have the outdated, “draconian” method in their tool belt.
EM does teach some nifty new ways to solve problems, but it DOES NOT teach in-depth skills required to solve complex problems. It’s really a waste of time (and money) in my opinion.
The fact that parents need to attend a seminar on EM should speak volumes to everyone……I know….I know….we’re just too stupid to get it….we need to be educated on the matter….
HCPS Volunteer says
Are you kidding me? A Parent Academy? More money wasted by Harford County Public Schools. If you have to teach all the parents the way to do “new math” then that is a sure strong indicator that you need to get rid of Everyday Math. Sometimes I think I should sue the School System over this Everyday Math.
I believe an important fact that we forget when it comes to EM is that is hasn’t been around (HCPS) to really judge it’s effectiveness. Until there are students at the middle and high school levels that have had EM since kindergarten we won’t know if it works or not. This year’s 9th graders were in 5th grade when EM began. I have a 1st grader, so the way EM transitions to high grades is something I’m watching closely.
That is a dangerous proposition you suggest. If EM does not pan out as sold you will have a generation of school children lost to experimentation. I am not interested in our kids being used as guinea pigs. EM is just a repeat of the Whole Language experiment of the 60’s which screwed up a lot of kids. Phonics should be taught from prek – 3rd grades then introduce some WL concepts. The out of the box strategies that EM employs are better taught in middle and high school. Elementary school needs to be where the foundations to solid skills are learned. How many of our elementary school students know their multiplication and division tables by heart – not many. I can do it faster from memory than they can using a calculator. How many of our high school students can figure out a percentage in their head without a calculator – not many. We complain about how our students do not stack up to others on the international stage – the answers can be found in programs like Everyday Math.
Yes! You hit the nail on the head! Elementary school is where the FOUNDATION should be laid for solid math skills. The types of principles taught in EM are better suited for older kids that have already mastered the basics, not to replace the basics!
Sunny, please…do yourself a favor – start teaching your child basic arithmetic right now. I don’t care how many times your child cries and frets over yet “another way to do it” just insist.
I have dealt with this deplorable program for 8 years. My children are not ‘stupid’ nor am I. I retrained myself in all of the algorithms/concepts. My kids are so fed up with learning 5 different ways to “think” about a simple problem with no mastery of one way, much less 4 more, that they now hate math with a flaming purple passion. I sincerely hope that if you are stuck with this program, your child will be one of the few who actually ‘gets it’ and enjoys it.
I suspect that when your child enters 6th grade having been subjected to EDM, you’ll have changed your mind by then.
While I hope not, I sincerely wish you luck.
My family can also be counted statistically as Everyday Math dropouts. We homeschool our 9 year old, who by the way skipped kindergarten and is in 4th grade. He went through grades 1-3 at a local HCPS property. I really do like the staff and teachers at the school. The decision to pull out was based PURELY on Everyday Math and its lack of quality. I described it to my neighbor the other day as randomness with no complexity. My 15 year old attends a Harford County public school. She has never had Everyday Math, thankfully. I’ve even spoken to a former Board Of Education member who voted against purchasing the E.M. curriculum and is vehemently opposed to its essence. I was also told two days ago that Cecil County has discontinued Everyday Math. Do you wonder why our 8th grade and below international comparative test scores rank within the bottom? People need to wake up and show up at Board Of Education meetings and contact the curriculum and math departments at HCPS. By the way, the math curriculum we use at home has traditional math. When I compare Calvert’s math curriculum versus Everyday Math, we’re waaaaay ahead. I even know a homeschooling family that uses Singapore Math. That is about as advanced as advanced can be. My point, plenty of good to great math curriculums exist. Everyday Math was developed at the University Of Chicago within their College Of Education/Teaching, not the College Of Mathematics. U of C is a well known liberal bastion, do you need to know anything else?
Not from Here says
I guess HCPS wants to teach the parents so the parents can do the schools’ work at home? Glad my kids have moved on…
I for one am in favor of Everyday Math. Our daughter has really excelled using the program. She’s been using it since kindergarten when it was being tested at her elementary school. She’s now in the 7th grade and is in Algebra I and having no difficulties. The math she’s doing now is what I did when I was in the 9th grade back in the 80’s. Everyday Math has obviously advanced her faster than when I was in school.
How can you be so sure that EM is the reason that she is doing so well now. Might she be doing as well without EM? You seem like an involved parent. Many others would like to be as well but cannot help their children because they do not understand EM. The answer is not to retrain parents, which is a dubious proposition at best, but to teach the basic foundations of math and other subjects then move toward abstract thinking so that students can put the two in perspective for their own use. I know college educated professionals that do not understand the concepts of EM. The school system is always complaining about a lack of parental involvement so why must it put up more roadblocks for parents to overcome?
Your daughter may be one of those kids that everyday will work for because she already has a knack for math. It’s the children who aren’t wired that way that suffer unfortuanately. Your one of the lucky ones.
Exactly. Another good question is if she was tutored outside of the home? If so, how much and what kind?
Thank you all for your postings. I’m so glad to read I’m not alone. I think it’s insane the way they teach kids math in the early years of education. Elementary school is where all the basics are learned before you can advance and for that, you need a real understanding of the material.
It’s almost as bad as they don’t hold kids back a grade when they fail. Passing them along isn’t the answer and something I wish would be brought back as a policy. If they don’t “get it” in 3rd grade, they won’t in 4 or 5. As the work gets harder, they fall further behind and loose interest and that’s where the real problems begin. This will continue with the use of EM…if you think your kids self esteem will be hurt when he gets left back, imagine when he can’t get a job because he can’t pass a basic math and reading test. I know what I’m talking about because as a recruiter for an HR dept, I see the results of these kids “education” every day. Even from “the good” high schools. It’s also important for them to learn accountability and consequences and stop “passing them through” kids are graduating HS without the basics as a result.
If Everyday Math is so wonderful, why are school districts geting rid of it? The vast majority of parents don’t like it. The vast majority of educators don’t like it. Everyday Math is part of the dumbing down of our youth.
How many parents do they really expect to get in Aberdeen at 9:30 A.M. on a Friday morning? A real commitment would be to have staff at every PTA meeting, to provide training opportunities immediately after school so parents could work with their children, have Saturday training a several schools at the same time, etc. A cynical mind might believe this to be a situation where the school system can claim they offered parents assistance when the reality is something different.
My sister-in-law teaches in Northern Virginia Fairfax County, where I grew up, and Each school can decide whether or not they use the everyday math curriculum. Her school voted a big fat NO. That would wonderful to have that option. I’m not a fan. If you are not a strong mathmatical student to begin with, I believe this program will be detrimental. I understand the theory behind teaching several different methods for multiplication ect., but don’t test them on everyone. Let the child use the one that clicks for them. If they are coming up w/ the correct answers, what difference does it make ? If they are having workshops for the parents of elementary school children, that tells me that there is a flaw in this program.