Below is a letter to the school board to request an early review of the math curricula and textbooks. This effort is spearheaded by a new group of parents whose children are in elementary and middle grades. If you would like to endorse the letter, please send your name to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chris Smith (Christopher.Smith@ssc.msu.edu or Bristolpub@aol.com).
Dear [Okemos School Board member]:
As residents of Okemos who share the Board's pride in the school system's accomplishments and who support the Board's goal of continuously improving education, we respectfully request that the Okemos schools undertake an early evaluation of the elementary and middle school mathematics curricula. Due to the continuing national and local debates about the most effective instructional materials for teaching mathematics, we believe it would be beneficial to conduct an early evaluation rather than wait for the completion of the usual seven-year cycle for curriculum reviews.
The requested review would provide an effective means to respond to Okemos school officials' publicly stated concerns about the need to examine and adjust the current curricula. For example, Dr. Gerard, the Deputy Superintendent, said that "We knew we'd have to modify and make some changes" in the Investigations program (LANSING STATE JOURNAL, 1-3-01), and Dr. Wheatley, the district's mathematics consultant, concluded that "The mathematics curriculum should be more rigorous" (Evaluation Report, July 2000).
Okemos teachers face increasingly difficult challenges and demands in their efforts to provide the highest quality education for children in the district. An early curriculum review can help to ensure that we are providing teachers, students, and parents with highly effective instructional materials that are most appropriate for Okemos students. The requested review will advance the ultimate goal that we share with the school administration and the Board: achieving and maintaining the best education possible for the children of Okemos.
Thank you for your serious consideration of this request.