Dear Mr. McKee:
Unlike social studies, language arts and science (which can draw from multiple sources), math needs a logical progression to be understood. The lack of an up-to-date text that provides that framework is a disservice to the student in the classroom. ...
The talk of a paperless society only brings out more paper to confirm, back-up or concretize a fragile system that loses everything with a loss of power, a missed keystroke, a virus invasion or an equipment failure. A computer is creative media and makes a fine data-collector. It cannot teach unless the student is self-disciplined enough and has the time to absorb it. Though a textbook’s or workbook’s time is limited, it’s still the best tool to use when repetition is the key. It provides a focal point, promotes reading, comprehension skills and does not require electricity.
As to online resources, I can tell you that schools already face multiple roadblocks to their effectiveness in the classroom and at home. Firstly, interaction on the board is already an integral part of any lesson, but most observe as a few write (attention span is limited). Secondly, the lack of available computers for use in the classroom — most rooms have less than three. Thirdly, the computer lab facilities are limited in availability by the amount of classes that want to use them on a daily basis and must be scheduled. The student’s own computer access is limited by transportation — the time a bus arrives and leaves does not allow them to use a computer to complete assignments before/after class. The student does not always have a computer at home and ... does not always have Internet access. ... Parents do not always have time to take the child to a public library or other place where public wifi is available.
So, though I understand the Board’s need to consider costs, Mr. Scamihorn needs to see that hardbound classroom resources are necessary. Take the Board back to the classroom and give them the lesson for the day to teach. They’ll see just what it takes to prepare, present, provoke responses and record results. They will see where print materials fit in. ...
If Common Core is really about standardizing materials used nationally to achieve a higher level of basic public education, it should be in the public’s best interest that it is adopted. If it doesn't, then it should be brought to the public’s attention so that the name does not mislead and the people selling it are stopped.
We are competing in the world market and have fallen below many other countries in student achievement. We no longer have time for local control squabbles and being almost at the bottom of the states in the nation. The Board needs to seek the avenues to reach a world-class level of education for Cobb County, Georgia.
A Concerned Educator in Cobb