There’s significant controversy about the school district's decision to use Everyday Math starting in Sept. See the Palo Alto Weekly online and several thousand angry parent comments. This affects kids starting September 09 through the next 7 years.
The basic issue is that the new curriculum:
1. Ignores traditional multiplication and division and instead only teaches inefficient, contorted methods that cause confusion and math-avoidance among students. It teaches “partial-products method”, “Egyptian multiplication”, “Lattice multiplication”, etc. Mathematicians and parents have almost universally criticized these methods for teaching math.
3. Instructs kids to estimate rather than actually doing the math to get an exact answer.
2. Instructs kids to use calculators rather than calculating math themselves. Here's the manifesto from the teacher's manual: "The authors of Everyday Mathematics do not believe it is worth students’ time and effort to fully develop highly efficient paper and pencil algorithms for all possible whole-number, fraction and decimal division problems. Mastery of the intricacies of such algorithms is a huge endeavor, one that experience tells us is doomed to failure for many students. It is simply counter-productive to invest many hours of precious class time on such algorithms. The mathematical payoff is not worth the cost, particularly because quotients can be found quickly and accurately with a calculator."
See samples yourself here: Web Link
There's a school board meeting and parent attendance is encouraged:
March 24, 6pm, MP School District Office, 181 Encinal Ave, Atherton
Join the googlegroups parent group on this topic:
AND come out on March 24th!