4J parents start petition over CPM math curriculum

A piloted math program in the 4J School District, known as College Preparatory Mathematics or CPM, is currently the subject of great controversy among the 4J community, spurring a parent Q&A meeting in early June. CPM sparked more questions than answers during a June 25 board meeting. One item of contention is the high price of the piloted curriculum, paid for largely with school bond money — $129,703 for high school and $298,867 for middle school — when parents were told that Kendall Toyota of Eugene would cover the cost of the high school curriculum through donations.

Now, parents have formed a petition, urging fellow parents and taxpayers to ask for more clarity from the 4J district:

Members of the board have pointed to questionable procedures that have led to the widespread use of CPM. We are now learning that although CPM has not been formally adopted, all of the “direct instruction” textbooks at SEHS and possibly at other schools have gone missing. Some believe they are now in boxes in a district warehouse and will soon be destroyed or sent away, effectively creating a fait accompli by eradicating the possibility for a direct instruction option and imposing a curriculum that has not been adopted, one that, by Berman’s admission, will cost the district substantially more money in the near future ($1.5 million by his estimation.) It is unclear how and by whom the decision to remove books was made.

The parents ask that:

1. That the location of the direct instruction books by Larson, Boswell, Kanold and Stiff be disclosed immediately and be made available so that they may continue to be used as the primary resource for mathematics instruction in 4J, and that the CPM materials already purchased be used as a supplement to these direct instruction books.

2. That there be no formal adoption of CPM, which would cost the taxpayers another $1.5 million.

3. That the process by which $469,405 (in bond money) was spent on CPM in Spring 2012 without board approval and prior to any “instructional committee meetings” be made public.

4. That all future curricular and funding decisions be made with full procedural transparency in accordance with Oregon precedent (that teachers are enlisted to suggest and review an array of materials to consider) and in adherence to Oregon Revised Statues sections 337.120 and 347.141: (which require the district to obtain parental and staff approval prior to the implementation of a new curriculum.) We ask that all teachers and stakeholders be invited to participate in the discussion rather than forging a disingenuous semblance of consensus by excluding those who might be skeptical of the curriculum the district prefers.

Find the full petition here.

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