As a result of the article I have received comments from several current and former elementary school teachers. One teacher wrote (echoing some of the concerns expressed here):
“Everyday Math was used in private schools in town and adopted town wide after a trial period at [several elementary schools in the district]. As a teacher at xxx [elementary school name removed], I felt the program didn't allow for mastery of necessary mathematical skills. The daily lessons covered too many objectives and quick "reviews" of previously introduced concepts. Teachers spent countless hours creating supplemental material as per the Everyday Math teacher guide.”
The same teacher followed up with an interesting comment that could inform future curricula selection procedures:
“I have never seen an administrator from Havemeyer [administration headquarters] teach a lesson. If they were put into classrooms to implement the proposed curriculum, they could effectively judge the value of the materials, lessons and student learning….. I think every administrator should be required to spend time teaching in a classroom.”
Another teacher writes:
"I did like the program for second and first grade. The students were expose to a lot more and learned a lot more. I also tried to connect it to the real world which is the basis of this program. I think using all of the components is key to making it work. "
The “components” noted in the last sentence refer to the tools (manipulatives, fact triangles) and the games used to teach and reinforce concepts and skills. Several teachers have commented over the last few months about the lack of time to use all of these aids.
One elementary school PTA ran a survey (unscientific, informal) with parents which found that about 90% of parents wanted to move up the review, and about 80% of parents either didn't like EDM or have mixed feelings about it. This survey is being used to guide this school’s input into the PTA Council’s discussion on the curriculum review and Everyday Math.
I welcome all comments, especially from teachers and parents. Keep those cards and letters coming!