Note from Laurie Rogers: Our public forums are designed to inform, to collect input, and to provide like-minded people with a path for improving math education in Spokane. The forums are public, with no expectation of privacy. We will make every effort to maintain privacy and to quote statements rather than specific people. However, district administration and board directors should expect to be directly and freely quoted.
John Barber, retired engineer, Clint Thatcher, retired math instructor, and I are holding free community forums on K-12 math education. I am shocked at how school district employees treated members of the public at our Feb. 7 forum at Shadle Public Library.
The stated goals of our forums are to:
- inform the community about the math materials being used in our schools,
- listen to what parents and concerned community members had to say about the math program, and
- gather together like-minded individuals for future conversations.
Many of the people obstructing our forums have the future of our children in their hands. If I were a caring district employee, I would be embarrassed to be associated with them. If they worked for me, they would be fired so fast, they would be a blur on the way out the door. Actually, some of them do work for me. I’m the taxpayer, and they are taxpayer-funded. But I have no way to fire them. In Spokane, administrator jobs are practically set in concrete.
- things have improved over time. (But this is true only for a few groups, and only slightly), and
- Spokane is doing better than the state averages. (But this is not true for Spokane 8th or 10th graders. Additionally, the other, better results she mentioned are still awful.)
What is she? Six years old?
They haven’t been good at running a math program that will get our children where they need to go in math, but they are very good at running things the way they want; at obstructing anyone who wants traditional instruction; at blaming things on teachers, parents and students; and at rudely interfering when the public wants to speak. I have always felt sympathy for our teachers, but sympathy has become empathy. Imagine living with that day after day after day. Who could stand to be bullied that way?
Don’t let them get away with this bullying behavior. Please tell your friends, relatives and acquaintances to come to our forums. See how little your point of view matters to those in control of the math program. Our forums are free and community centered. They are intended to obtain feedback from parents and other members of the public who are concerned about the math program. They are not designed to listen to reform twaddle, to support district excuses, or to help defend the reformers' interests. All attendees will be expected to adhere to simple rules of conduct. If you live in a different district, you’re welcome to join us. The math problem is not exclusive to Spokane.
Our next forums:
Feb. 15, 6-8 p.m., Shadle Public Library
Feb. 26, noon-2 p.m., Hillyard Public Library
March 8, 6-8 p.m., Moran Prairie County Library
Rogers, L. (February 2011). "District tries to silence dissenting voices." Retrieved (date) from the Betrayed Web site: http://betrayed-whyeducationisfailing.blogspot.com/