June 14, 2001
By Kiran Randhawa
Educators in math joined parents in the first-ever public discussion on the controversial TERC curriculum implemented in Community School District 2.
Last week, New York City Honest Open Logical Debate on math reform (NYC HOLD) a parent advocacy group, organized a math forum for the public. The event was in aid of addressing parents' worries and concerns on the "constructivist" approach of the curriculum.
"This is a racist and anti-working-class program," said one teacher from a Bronx high school. "poorer kids will be stuck with this curriculum, unlike middle-class kids who have other choices."
Implemented four years ago, TERC and its middle school counterpart, CMP adopts a discovery learning approach, as opposed to using traditional algorithms and rote learning.
"Parents are upset and frustrated at this," said Elizabeth Carson, co-founder of NYC HOLD and host of last week's forum held at the NYU School of Law at 40 Washington Square. "More and more parents are looking into tutoring, some even home-schooling."
Over 300 parents attended the forum led by experts in math from NYU, Harvard and City University. Many are determined to push to get rid of the curriculum they claim is failing their kids.
"We will keep applying pressure on schools and will also pursue possible avenues of litigation against the city," Carson said.
Reproduced with permission from Our Town.
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