Opinion: School Board should revisit math curriculum decision | Eastern North Carolina Now

The Beaufort County Board of Education voted recently to adopt a new math curriculum for Beaufort County schools.  It passed 7-2 the all the incumbents voting yes and two newly elected conservatives voting no.  Newly elected Gary Carlton voted yes.

We were disappointed that the Board of Education adopted the “Bridges” math curriculum.  But even more disappointed that newly elected Gary Carlton voted for the motion. 

There has been significant evidence produced that the Bridges program in infused with too much “wokeism.”  To our knowledge there has not been a valid field test in any Beaufort County schools and that is shortsighted.  No such expensive adoption should be implemented system-wide until some pilot school(s) have used the program for a year or so.  That is true no matter what the subject matter is. 

The Superintendent and staff made very weak presentations of the reasoning for picking this program over some of the others approved by the State Board of Education.  Such decisions should be research-based and not simply because a particular group advocated for it.  We wanted to see a comprehensive plan for improving student performance in math, including the curriculum, but also the relative cost of various programs, including the cost of staff development, including the number of days teachers will be pulled out of their classrooms for such staff development.  Such was not presented by the Superintendent.

At a minimum he should have proposed testing the new curriculum in three classrooms using the Bridges program with results compared to the scores in an equal number of control groups. 

As is, they are proposing to spend nearly a half million dollars without a rational evaluation of how effective this program might be in Beaufort County. 

We really need a better curriculum review and adoption process.  It is the duty of the Superintendent and his staff to develop this and present it to the School Board with adequate provision for public input.

Therefore, we hope the board will reconsider its action which passed 7 to 2 and delay full implementation until the pilot results are in.

The bottom line is that Bridges is another radical left-wing “wokeism” program that is loaded with CRT, social justice  and ESL (emotional, social learning).  Our school board should be vigilant to keep this wokeism out of our schools.

Right away, those of us with common sense, could see a lot of red flags flying high. 

We are talking about the teaching of mathematics in the public schools, grades one thru five.  Let us distinguish between what public school students need for mathematics and that of a theoretical physicist.  The skill set of mathematics required by the general public encompasses principles developed during the past 5,000 years.  This does not include calculus, differential equations and math theory.  These subjects are usually taught from the junior of year of college thru the masters and PhD programs.

A well educated public school graduate should be able to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions and percentages.  The Real Basics.  Unless mastered, or until mastered, a student should not be “promoted” to the next level nor have their time consumed learning concepts other that the Basics.  Those who demonstrate mastery of the basic concepts could be exposed to algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry, and coordinate geometry. They could balance a check book and understand the benefits and downside of compound interest. The basics of these parts of mathematics have been in use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. 

So, how do we get “intervention” into a math program?  Why do we need intervention?  The Bridges web site explains it.  It says things like: “We need a framework for Equity in the Mathematics Classroom”.  The words “equitable mathematics instruction” are used several times. Another statement used in the discussion by Bridges personnel includes ….systemic racism, systemic oppression and privilege, and ways in which mathematics can disrupt those systemic issues”   Talk like this has no place in mathematics education and no place in public K-12 education at all.

Back to everyday mathematics, if the basics of mathematics have been in place for hundreds of years, should not mathematics books for use in the public schools be useful and used until the covers fall off?  It is incredible to us that no one asked, “What is wrong with the text books we are now using.?”  The same is true of grammar, history, art, biology and science books.  We understand the argument about keeping up with the latest information. To that we say; Unless you know the basics and the history of the subject, the latest information has no intellectual value.

We believe there is no need for these canned curriculums in public school education.  Any teacher should be able to prepare lessons to teach to the intent of the State Standard Course of Study within their major or minor course of study if they are competent to teach.  Considering what the university systems are turning out and calling educated, there may be problems in the university system.  It is the job of the principals and superintendents to make sure their teachers are competent.

With the time lost to Covid and the culture in each community, a one size fits all program can not be created.  There is not time for Woke indoctrination to be included in any class being taught today.  If a teacher teaches ten minutes of “diversity” that is 10 minutes that can never be applied to basic understanding of fundamental math.  In order to bring our students up to grade level, we will need basics taught that they can build on, and math presented at a level that the parents can assist those that are behind.  Common Core has proved to be a failure and the infiltration of Socialism and Gender neutrality has set our entire school system back several years. We need common sense leadership and this seems to be lacking on our school board and in our administration. 

During the Board discussion it was admitted that there were elements of common core and critical race theory in the Bridges books. Some genius made the statement that teachers did not have to use these woke teachings, they could just go around them.  Sounds like eating road kill, just eat around the tire track.

The concept of canned curriculums in public education is a recent invention.  It originated from the minds of those who want to dominate, control and indoctrinate the public to socialism and communism.  Canned curriculums did not come from open minded, free speech people who understand that the major part of education involves student exposure to principles, practices, and accurate history so he could analyze and question both his and other’s beliefs.  Canned curriculums are full of woke teachings, that divide us as individuals.  Canned curriculums force students to believe that “we are all NOT created equal”.  This is precisely what the socialists and communists want us to believe.  They, then, have an excuse for the government to address whatever the feeling of fake unfairness may be.

Gary Carlton’s vote is a disappointment and a setback to the conservative movement on the school board.

Several people testified that Carlton was firmly set to vote against the Bridges Intervention purchase up to two days before the School Board Meeting.  Who got to him?  Was he faking us out all the time?  Is Gary Carlton one of those people who are influenced by the last person he talked to before he votes.

If Carlton made an honest mistake, he has a way to make things right.  As a person who voted for the prevailing motion, he can make a motion for the issue to be voted again (Motion To Reconsider).  He can then vote correctly and regain his reputation.  The social studies curriculum is still on the table, awaiting some major decisions about that.  You will see this disease of “wokeism” raise its ugly head in that debate.  If you have contact with Mr. Carlton urge him to hold the line against wokeism and get our students focused on the basics.  We offer him these facilities for him to explain his reasoning for his vote on Bridges.  He voted contrary to the way an overwhelming majority of people who voted for him would have voted and he owes them an explanation.

There is a lot of work to be done in our public school system.  To that end, people with strong character, a knowledge of the Constitution of the United States, the State of North Carolina and the Bill of Rights are needed to run for election in the 2024 elections.  There are five seats open.  We do not recommend approaching either the Democrat or Republican Parties about running for an office. It is better to approach a political figure you trust or the Beaufort County Conservative Club.

For far too long we have not had competitive elections for school board seats.  Some of these board members are there simply because nobody ran against them.  We need to change that in 2024.

Remember this vote on the math curriculum.  Those who sold us out are:  Gary Carlton, TW Allen, Eltha Booth, Carolyn Walker and Mac Hodges, Terry Williams, and Terry Draper.  Allen, Booth, Walker, Hodges and Draper’s terms will expire in 2024.

To boil all this down, We The People are going to have to stand up to this wokeism nonsense.  The most effective way to do this is monitor how each board member votes.  Those who do not have the character to fight it should be replaced in the next election.  Folks, we do not want to be seen as radical alarmists, but it is clear to us that the future of our nation is at stake in this issue.  Public schools are doing a less that satisfactory job of teaching the basic skills.  Beaufort County has more students performing below grade level in the basis subjects.  If we do not correct this now the problem will grow to the point of no return and we will not be able to stop it.  Social theories are fine to be taught in a comparative process at the university level, but they have no place in public classrooms.  This is an existential problem for our traditional culture.

It is time to put and immediate end to this nonsense and return our school curriculum back to the traditional basics in the core subjects.  If we don’t do so within a few years it will be too late.

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( May 23rd, 2023 @ 12:02 pm )
It is glaring that Dr. Phillips told the the school board that Bridges was not Common Core when in fact it mostly is. Was he so indompetent that he did not know that? Or did he deliberately mislead the school board? Either way, he should have zero credibility on curriculum related issues in the future. And what about Superintendant Cheeseman. Did he fail in oversight of what Phillips was doing, or was he complicite in the mistatements of Phillips?
( May 23rd, 2023 @ 7:24 am )
Having been part of that group of grade school children whose math ability was damaged by the failed "New Math" of the 1960s, I can relate to the problem of Common Core math today. At least in the 60s, when it became evident that New Math was harming students math ability, the education establishment junked it. Getting rid of the equally damaging Common Core seems harder because there are wealthy and powerful people like Bill Gates bound and determined to keep it in place, largely because their foundations developed it. Unfortunately, too often, it has been glossed over where there has been just a matter of changing the name while keeping the harmful substance of Common Core math. Comoon Core math is New Math 2.0 and should not be inflicted upon our students.
Big Bob said:
( May 23rd, 2023 @ 12:31 am )
A truly circulir firing squad.
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 11:12 pm )
Well said, spot on. In order to be a teacher, one must obtain a degree and certifications if I’m not mistaken. What then is the need for a whole extra branded program? I’m confused because why do we need a flashy light show to teach math unless they are selling an idea?

Math is an instrument of the almighty whose numbers are bound to law and order. As a 2 is a 2 and never was or will be a 3. And 2+2 will always equal 4. This type of understanding acts as a foundational example of objectivity. That some things are always true and never not true. From these foundations come the basis of all other knowledge known. So I say it’s pivotal to learn mathematics although teaching it does require patience and creativity, but not distraction.

The number one problem in schools today, too many distractions.
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 4:45 pm )
Little Bobbie, you seem to be hitting the Old Crow way too much (and its founder was a guy actually named James Crow). Your fantasy timeline would have Jim Crow ending 8 years ago and that is just wacky. What actually happened was that in the late 1960s, we had Affirmative Action come to the fore. Jim Crow was dead and buried. Everybody of working age today came up under Affirmarive Action or its successors, which tilted the playing field the opposite direction.

But that is just a dodge of yours to deflect and has nothing to do with the fact that Herbert Marcuse, the former chief ideologue of the German Communist Party, who invented Critical Theory, and the group of openly Marxist law professors who expanded it to Critical Race Theory, were ALL white. You are the one who is flat out wrong.
Big Bob said:
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 3:29 pm )
Take away 150 years of Jim Crow in which we both participated, I would admit you are right. Sadly, that context makes you flat out wrong.
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 1:01 pm )
You are the most racially obsessed poster on this board, Bolshevik Bob, so I am not surprised you have injected race into this discussion, too. However, Herbert Marcuse who came up with Critical Theory and the group of Marxist law professors who took it a step further and came up with Critical Race Theory, were white.
Big Bob said:
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 10:17 am )
Said the white man.
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 9:40 am )
Those Marxist concepts were designed to create division and animosity in society. When Herbert Marxuse, former chief ideologue of the German Communist Party created Critical Theory that was his very purpose for doing it. Later acknowledged Marxists used Critical Theory as the basis for Critical Race Theory. The Marxists have the groups and principles in society that they hate and want to overthrow.
Big Bob said:
( May 22nd, 2023 @ 12:42 am )
Only if you hate.
( May 21st, 2023 @ 8:17 pm )
What "woke" crap like CRT, DEI, and "social jsutice" is designed to do is create divisions of society by race. Don't we have too many of those already without adding more? But a race hustler like Bolshevik Bob DOES want more racial division, and that is clear.
Big Bob said:
( May 21st, 2023 @ 6:05 pm )
Teaching lids not to be racist bigots is a worthwhile endeavor.Not in place of the 3Rs. Alongside it.
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