## About New York City's Adopted High School Math Text

TEACHERS: MATH TEXT IS A POOR ADDITION

New York Post, February 13, 2003

By CARL CAMPANILE

February 13, 2003 - A new textbook that's supposed to help
high-school students pass the Regents math exam doesn't do the job,
teachers charged yesterday.

The teachers said the Prentice Hall book called "New York Math A,"
which they've been ordered to use, is supposed to update a previous
book, simply called "Algebra." It was revised to bring the material
in line with the state's new math curriculum and exam. But teachers
complained the books are nearly identical, with the same 11 chapters
covering precisely the same topics and material. The only difference
is there are some Regents test-prep questions sprinkled in the new
version, mostly at the end of each chapter, increasing the number of
pages from 675 to 700.

"The book is not as advertised. It is not aligned with the Math A
Regents exam," charged Charles Galioto, a 18-year veteran math teacher
at Lehman HS in The Bronx. "It is not a book that was written with
the Math A Regents in mind." Lehman teacher Steve Hiller agreed,
emphasizing it's a risky strategy for the Department of Education to
rely on only one textbook. "If our kids don't pass," he said, "they
don't graduate."

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's office insisted that "Math A" is
aligned with the state's curriculum and stressed teachers will be
trained how to use the book. "The text provides test-taking
strategies, practice and preparation. It emphasizes skills and
critical thinking for success on the exam and college-level math,"
said Klein spokesman Kevin Ortiz. He said numerous math experts,
including the association representing city high school math
department heads, were consulted before choosing the text.

But Lehman teachers who used the book this year said they had to
provide a lot of other material to prepare kids for the Regents.
Other teachers questioned the choice. Carwen Dublin, a math teacher
at Middle College HS in Brooklyn, said he prefers a book published by
Amsco. "Amsco is aligned with the exam," he said. "It's a better
prep book. There are more Regents-related test questions in the Amsco
book." But Ortiz said the Prentice book was not just selected for
test prep. "That would be a disservice. We want to go beyond that.
We're not just content with teaching what's on the exam," he said.

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