Parents Petition to Bring School Back to Basics in Math Skills

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Byline: Alicia Fabbre Daily Herald Staff Writer

Kathy Mitchell doesn't think she should send her children to tutoring to get the basics.

That, she says, should be done in the classroom.

But like many other parents she knows, Mitchell has been relying on tutors to provide her two elementary school-aged children the basics of math.

The problem, she says, isn't the children. Instead, she and several other parents blame the Everyday Mathematics curriculum from the University of Chicago School Math Project used in the elementary schools - and they want it to change.

"They're not getting that basic knowledge," she said. "If they don't understand 6 plus 3 is 9 how can you ask them if 9 minus 3 is 6?"

Mitchell and several other parents Monday will petition school board members to make changes in the math and language arts programs in the elementary schools. According to the petitions, parents want teachers to focus more on the basic "paper and pencil" math skills and want a greater emphasis on things like phonics, correct spelling, punctuation and grammar in the language arts program.

"We want to make sure our kids are getting their basic skills in the classrooms," said Mitchell, whose children attend Ferson Creek Elementary School.

School officials say students are getting the basics through Everyday Math and the language arts program. …