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Oak Harbor math curriculum on hold after public outcry

After a public outcry against a potential new math curriculum for Oak Harbor High School, school officials are delaying its adoption.

Superintendent Rick Schulte encouraged the school board members to hold a special workshop so they can have a dialogue with the curriculum review team. Such a workshop would provide board members with a more balanced view of the team’s decision to recommend Core Plus as the new high school math curriculum, he said.

However, Schulte’s suggestion was rejected. School board members decided at their May 27 meeting against a public workshop.

Board member Peter Hunt said he didn’t want it to look like the school board was rushing to a decision. Corey Johnson said that it would be difficult to find time to schedule such a workshop.

The school district had been slated to adopt the Core Plus curriculum during an early May school board meeting.

However, after criticism arose, the board tabled the proposal.

Critics contend the Core Plus curriculum doesn’t help college-bound students, that other school districts are abandoning Core Plus, and they would rather see a more traditional curriculum used in the school district.

School Board member Dave McCool said it would be best to hold off on adopting any new high school math curriculum until the entire math program from grades kindergarten through grade 12 is thoroughly examined.

Math is of concern to school districts statewide. The mandatory math WASL was dropped as a requirement to graduate because so few students were meeting standards. That requirement is scheduled to be reinstated in 2013 after more effective math programs are adopted.

Schulte said in an interview after the meeting that with the curriculum adoption on hold, no decision can be made until next year. Even then, he said it’s possible no action will be taken because budget problems could mean there won’t be any money available for the purchase. The cost for the new math curriculum is estimated to run between $80,000 and $100,000.

Community Events, April 2014

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