Bridges Math Curriculum in Beaufort County Schools | Eastern North Carolina Now

By:  Ray Leary

A few months ago, the Beaufort County School Board adopted a new math curriculum named Bridges. This curriculum selection was approved by a 7-2 vote of the nine-member board. All five of the incumbent board members that were not up for election in 2022 voted in favor of adopting this course of study.

An example of a Bridges workbook page has been shared with the Beaufort County Conservative Club that was assigned to a fourth-grade student attending John Small School. The examples on this one page utilize the “Double, Double, Doubles” process to solve simple single digit multiplication problems. The photo of the workbook page is below. Please note that the student does not have the book, just this page.

The YouTube video link features a teacher (not a Beaufort County teacher) explaining how this theory works using two sample multiplication problems. In the video she proclaims that this method is simpler than memorizing multiplication tables. I will allow the readers to judge the veracity of this statement. Observations of the few adults that have seen this workbook page have never heard of the Double, Double, Doubles math solving process. And yes, it is a process that requires approximately five minutes to complete for each problem. The first problem is 6 X 8 = ____ in the video.

Parents that are concerned about the quality of the instruction your children are receiving in Beaufort County Schools, especially if they are struggling with math in elementary schools, I suggest you contact the principal of your child’s school and contact the school board member representing your school district to determine the obstacles your child is having trouble with understanding.

Parents and grandparents that received their elementary education in the 1960s and 1970s cannot help their children with this process. This is one example. What else is in this curriculum that is rooted in theory as opposed to just memorizing the multiplication tables?

The North Carolina General Statues requires students memorize the multiplication tables and that they have done so, or not, is reported to the JOINT LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE every year in March. The Beaufort County School administration reports that all students have memorized the multiplication tables. If this is true, the triple D method of solving 9 X 4 = 36 is not necessary, and teaching the triple D problem solving method is a waste of money and a huge waste of teacher talent and time. The link to this report is below.

Report to the North Carolina General Assembly Cursive and Multiplication Tables § 115C-81.81

As can be seen on Page 85, Beaufort County reports compliance with G.S.115C-81.80.

  • 115C-81.80. Multiplication tables.

The standard course of study shall include the requirement that students enrolled in public schools memorize multiplication tables to demonstrate competency in efficiently multiplying numbers.

School Improvement plans are mandated for local school districts with school that score a D or lower. Beaufort County has eight (8) of the thirteen schools (13) with a D score for the 21-22 and the 22-23 school years. There has been some improvement in the D scored schools in 22-23, but not enough to earn a C score.

It would be disingenuous to say this one example of Bridges math is why a majority of math students in NC public schools cannot perform basic math skills, but it is one indicator of an educational system that abandoned successful teaching methods and adopted a somewhat rigorous theory-based method of instruction that is not paired with the needs of elementary school students.

Most of us have cellular phones, but I doubt any of us could build one in our garage. We just need to know how to use it, not how and why it functions.

The workbook page referred to above is shown below.

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( October 5th, 2023 @ 1:39 pm )
John: Math skills are very weak in our nation, always has been in my lifetime; but far weaker now, and in an exponential context.

Our education system has already failed us; why would anyone believe that the Education Industry can now fix it, especially without the help of the smarter folk?
Big Bob said:
( October 5th, 2023 @ 1:28 pm )
Common core is likely the smallest contributor to the problem. Clearly good instruction offers a variety of teaching tactics and approaches. Example - I'm not a phonics guy, but for some kids, it works. There is no one size fits all.
( October 5th, 2023 @ 11:44 am )
Common core has dumbed Americans down on math abilities. It has been a cancer in our schools for over a decade, and we need to get rid of this garbage. It is the school board that makes the decision on what our local curriculum will be, and the majority of our current school board clearly do not take that responsiblity seriously. THey just rubberstamp for the liberal superintendant. We need a new school board and we need one badly.
( October 5th, 2023 @ 10:49 am )
Big Bob: One can start by taking away the TikTok in a very permanent manner.
Big Bob said:
( October 5th, 2023 @ 10:41 am )
Considering most Americans couldn't pass freshman algebra, I'm not sure the old ways are working all that well. Unfortunately mathematics requires the ability to memorize certain things. The tic toc generation can barely tie their shoes. IDK, maybe offering an alternative method would help some kids.
( October 5th, 2023 @ 9:44 am )
I just read the instructions for these math problems, and if I could revert back a few decades during my formative years, I learned to read carefully the instructions to the problem, then answer the problem completely, and then check my process to make sure I did it right.

Now consider this: What are we to think when the person writing the the instructions to the problem is an idiot?

We citizens, we county commissioners elected by citizens, better keep a tight grip on all school boards, their administrations, their teachers, and their new age curriculums until WE can turn around this failing education system ... Because it is an unquestionable fact that it is failing.
( October 5th, 2023 @ 8:44 am )
We have a rigged and rotten system for adopting curricula in the Beaufort County Schools, controlled by the top bureaucrat, the superintendant. Cheeseman appoints a committee of people he selects to recommend a curriculum. They send only one option to the school board to be rubberstamped. The school baard members are clearly not even shown the curriculum, just told about it, and what is told is often just plain wrong, like the Curriculum director claiming Bridges was not common core. Parents and taxpayers should not tolerate this sham.
( October 5th, 2023 @ 8:37 am )
Way back when I was in school memory work was a part of education from the earliest age. Memorizing poem and other things and having to recite them back. Also memorizing the times table. I have to wonder with all the new ways and lack of training the brain and memory are those in charge saying the children now a days are not smart enough to memorize things.
( October 4th, 2023 @ 11:43 pm )
We are screwed.
( October 4th, 2023 @ 2:17 pm )
( October 3rd, 2023 @ 10:55 am )
If you are a Christian, conservative with an interest in teaching our children correct principles and a good basic education, please sign up to run for the Beaufort County School Board. For help and support contact Adam Oneal 252-943-5939 for details on how to register to run.
( October 2nd, 2023 @ 7:59 pm )
North Carolina law requires schools to have students memorize the multiplication tables, as math has been taught for centuries, and which works. Is that being done? If so, students will learn math. Why confuse them with this wacky garbage? And why does a school board that is supposed to represent the citizens approve such stupid garbage, paid for with our tax dollars. Yes, we need a fruitbasket turnover of the 5 school board members next up for election.
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