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Wheres the Math?
Several days ago a friend asked why I was again standing for election to the Arlington School Board. I pointed out that the current school board administration were failing to provide an adequate education for children resident in the Arlington area and I considered this unacceptable.
Additionally, the same school board members and administrators have put the school district into such a huge debt that if it becomes necessary to construct more facilities or to do major repairs, interest rates would be extremely costly and require a large increase in property taxes.
Over the past several months the Seattle Times has published articles discussing public schools mathematics instructional policies, practices and the end results of these. The most recent story covered the totally inadequate levels of mathematics knowledge of students in the Washington public schools as shown by the WASL. Students entering the universities are being required to engage in remedial math and English studies and one science department has dumbed down their curricula.
The Times articles discussed textbooks and instructional methodologies as a group of parents have on the website wheresthemath.com. Soon thereafter, an Arlington administrator in conjunction with other administrators suggested adding a remedial year to the math curricula preparing students for a retake of the WASL. One year of study using the same error filled, inadequate textbooks, unprepared teachers and faulty instructional procedures will not correct the results of 10 years of wholly inadequate instruction.
What the Seattle Times author did not discuss is the WASL testing program results also indicate students have exceedingly low levels of reading skills and knowledge. In the Arlington School District, the math and reading instruction failures have been known to the administration and school board for years, yet these personages have willingly failed to effect adequate corrective courses of study.
If our students are to be prepared for college studies or to enter the work force, the reading and math programs must be completely overhauled.
I have spent 15 years studying educational practices and results and I am prepared to lead the way in the institution of a superior education for all our students.
In this I request your votes in the upcoming election.