I met with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Dr. Mark McLaughlin yesterday afternoon for about two hours, mostly concerning Every Day Math. It was a good meeting that answered many of my questions. I encourage any of you to contact him for a similar meeting as Mark is concerned with meeting expectations and being effective with the curriculum. A couple of things I learned during that meeting where:

- The District recognized the weakness of Every Day Math in the area of Math facts and started a study 2 years ago that compared (1) Every Day Math with new Every Day Math module for Math Facts, (2) Current Every Day Math curriculum with additional flash card drilling and (3) Otter Creek (

http://www.oci-sems.com/)

- Otter Creek is on the other end of the spectrum from Every Day Math - focused on Math Facts and less on application (story problems)

- Bottom line was that both option 2 & 3 significantly outperformed 1 and there was no statistical difference between 2 & 3 so the district has institutionalized option 2 for this school year (effective, low cost, and ease of implementation fed into the decision)

I still have issues with Every Day Math but this explanation seemed to me to be a reasonable 1st step. My criticism to Mark was that this approach was not communicated to the parents and the parents were not publicly consulted for buy-in. While not defending Every Day Math, I will say that a "formal" change in the curriculum will result in a budget impact that taxpayers in town may or may not support (buying new texts, teacher training, etc.). I am more inclined to support a vision that implements a low-cost hybrid program today (like the flash card option above) to deal with the weaknesses of the program and a long-term move to a curriculum that has parental buy-in that meets the learning needs of our kids.