After 6 years of thousands of parents protesting Investigations math, ASD finally announced they were dropping the program. This period from 2001-2007 only ended when Orem city threatened to form their own school district and put a measure on the ballot to ask citizens if they wanted to pursue it. ASD administration was at that public meeting and announced they were dropping Investigations math and giving every school a choice between a traditional and “standards-based” (Investigations style) program.
What actually happened was the district pushed two standards-based programs (not the choice they promised) and ASD really pushed for Scott Foresman Addison-Wesley (SFAW). Why? Because SFAW has a direct integration plan with Investigations math and after all the schools were “taken off” Investigations math, the district gave all the elementary school teachers an Investigations math teacher guide the week before school and told them they could use whichever text they deemed useful to the students. As a result, many teachers chose to just use Investigations math.
When asked why some teachers are just using Investigations math, the district denies it and says they are using “balanced math.” Unfortunately, there is no curriculum called “balanced math” and when asked to define the balance they are at a loss.
In October 2007 State Superintendent Patti Harrington announced that Investigations math was being removed from the state approved list because it was an inadequate program. (Listen here)
The state office also condemned Connected math as inadequate (link).
Connected math is used in ASD from grades 6-9. The district has never attempted to balance this program even though federal studies from the What Works Clearinghouse have shown it to actually have a negative effect on children’s education (link).
ASD uses Integrated math in grades 10-12 which is also based on the constructivist approach and they haven’t done anything to bring balance to this program either.
Numerous things could be said about the detrimental effects of a fully constructivist program including the fact that NO studies have ever been shown to support this approach to teaching math (link).
In fact, after years of telling patrons that “all the studies show this is the best way to teach math,” I filed a GRAMA request with the district to get them to provide a copy of the studies they used to support the implementation of the program and they couldn’t produce a single study (link).
For an in-depth look at how the Department of Education has been deliberately dumbing down America through programs like these, please check out Charlotte Iserbyt’s free to download pdf book “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” where she identifies John Goodlad as “America’s premier change agent” for pushing us toward socialism.
Now we can see why the federal department of education completely ignored the results of Project Follow-Through (link), which was the largest education study ever performed in our country. It conclusively showed that direct instruction was a success, and constructivism was an utter failure. After the study, the socialists at the Dept. of Education determined that rather than promote what worked and how it could be improved, they would take the worst programs and toss billions of dollars into promoting them to schools. Look at the graph on that link and you’ll find the horrid effects of programs like whole language, discovery learning, and so called “developmentally appropriate practices.” (This information has all been provided to the ASD School Board and they have ignored it)
If you don’t know much about constructivism, you can check out this link which explains more about its background and the dangerous nature of the philosophy. In the words of Michael Matthews of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia,
“Given the influence of constructivism on education reform, teacher education, curriculum development and pedagogy, it is important to be clear about just what are, and are not, the epistemological commitments of constructivism. And what relationship these commitments have, if any, to classroom practice. The history of education is littered with ‘ideas that seemed good at the time’, but whose enactment caused educational and cultural havoc. Constructivism has all the earmarks of being such an idea.”
Now this school year, 2010-2011, parents are very disturbed to find that ASD can’t seem to shake their infatuation with Investigations math. Since this approach to math is promoted by John Goodlad and his organization, our district administration won’t get rid of it since 2 of our administrators have been given nationwide “AED Scholar” status by John Goodlad (Agenda for Education in a Democracy). In the entire country there are only 30 such scholars, but in Utah county, we have 4 of them. ASD Superintendent Vern Henshaw and ASD curriculum specialist Barry Graff directly influence things in this district. Two more are at the McKay School of Education at BYU with one being Steve Baugh, the former superintendent of ASD who first brought constructivist math to this district. ASD has continued to make teacher professional development 100% Investigations based and now they are pushing it back into the schools.