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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ridiculous Textbooks used in Tennessee

Ben Cunningham recently embedded a YouTube video on his blog by a Seattle Fox News 13 meteorologist and weather newscaster, M.J. McDermott.

(I have not mastered the magic of embedding yet so I have a link below to YouTube).

The video highlights the ridiculous techniques taught by two particular math textbooks that are in use today; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI.

As a student, I enjoyed math very much but I feel these procedures would have caused me great frustration in 5th grade. I showed the video to my daughter, a good English / history type student, and she said she would have been in tears…literally.

It is certainly NOT the optimal way to learn multiplication and division.

I checked the list of selected books for use in Tennessee classrooms; these two books are on the list.

The list is compiled by the State Textbook Commission according to T.C.A. 49-6-2201---2209 and 49-3-310.

I cannot tell you if YOUR child's school is using these books because the list contains an assortment of textbooks from which to choose. Each school district selects their choice of curriculum from the list established by the Commission. If you are concerned, call and ask your child’s school.

Work done by committee is never perfect, and the textbook business is a huge, high pressure, competitive industry containing some wild and often ridiculous ideas about learning.

This illustrates very well why parents need to be vigilant and involved in their child’s education. It goes without saying, but when your child is issued his or her textbooks – review them. If one just doesn’t make sense, bring it to the attention of your child’s teacher, the principal and the school board.

Better yet, get a group of concerned parents together and ask to review the choices before they are actually purchased.

If you live in a school district that is performing well the chances are they are not using these books – but it is your right as a parent and a taxpayer to ask.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(T)hat is most certainly being taught in the public schools.

Memphis City Schools adopted Everday Math a few years ago and recently had to find another math series because the students were doing so poorly on the TCap tests in the spring. This was down from what the students had been doing before which had been poor to begin with.

I love seeing common sense winning.

Thanks for passing this one on because it was extremely interesting. I was especially taken with the things she said her fellow students were having trouble with, one being that they could not work alone. If I hear much more about cooperative learning (small group work), I think I will scream.