by Carla Albers
Sumbitted to Letters
The Wall Street Journal
May 12, 2005 (not published)
Thank you for publishing Diane Ravitch's column on the mess that is the New York City school system. (Where the Mayor Went Wrong, May 12, 2005.) When I became concerned about the math program my elementary aged children were being taught from, Everyday Math, her book "Left Behind: A Century of Failed School Reforms" was one of the first books I read in an effort to educate myself as to the issues. I have been aware of the situation in New York City as one of the best websites on the failure of current mathematics programs, www.nychold.com, was created in response to the Bloomberg/Klein/Lam mess.
Rather than have my fourth grader go through another year of Everyday Math (which, by the way, never does introduce elementary children to the standard algorithm for long division), I chose to home school him this year through a virtual academy that uses Bill Bennett's K12 curricula. In addition, I am a founding member of a new charter school in Colorado Springs, which will open this fall. We will be using a traditional math curriculum, Saxon Math, and will be using a researched-based reading program which is decidedly not whole-language in approach.
The explosion of charter schools in this country points to the utter failure of our public schools to reform themselves. It takes a tremendous amount of work to start a charter school, and points to the level of frustration of parents like myself when we choose to go that route. Thank you for your ongoing articles on the crisis we face in public education.
Colorado Springs, CO 80919
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