The Senate Education Committee today passed a bill, HB 647, to require all school districts to offer two different high school/grade 8 Math tracks- BOTH the current Math I, II, III track AND the traditional Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II track. Beginning 2017-18, school districts would have to offer both tracks and students/parents would be able to choose which track they want. In our estimation this could cause significant issues for small high schools and small school districts. For example if you had a cohort of 45 students, whereas currently you might have 2 math classes, under this bill you would have to have 3 math classes. If you believe this bill will cause staffing issues in your district, please communicate with your Senators before tomorrow as that is when the bill will likely be heard on the floor. Also please share with us any examples of staffing or other issues you are using to demonstrate how this bill could be detrimental.
Click here to find a summary of the bill.
Click here to find your Senate members.
Click here for a media report about today’s committee hearing.
*Attachment includes PCS, amendment by Sen. Barringer and summary for HB 657
The most recent version of house bill 657 is posted. This bill was scheduled to be heard and voted on today (Thursday, June 9th) but was postponed. It is our understanding this is scheduled to hit the senate floor at 7pm on Monday, June 13th. Read the Bill here.
The Senate Education Committee introduced a bill this week to revert from the state’s current integrated high school math curriculum to the “traditional” sequence of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. “This will get us back to traditional math,” said Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, “and I don’t know anyone who disagrees with that.”
State education leaders and teachers were quick to call Sen. Tillman’s assertion into question, with strong opinions in favor of integrated math piling up this week following introduction of the bill. State Superintendent June Atkinson cited other countries whose students excel in math and pointed to their use of a blended approach to math that is similar to ours. She said the approach, which gives students the tools they need to solve real-world problems, has largely satisfied the state’s public school teachers and parents.
On Tuesday, Trey Ferguson, a high school math teacher at Leesville Road High School, weighed in on EdNC to detail, “The case for integrated math” from a teacher’s perspective.
Previously, a consortium of superintendents and teachers from five Research Triangle districts expressed “grave concern” about the potential move away from integrated math and back to the traditional curriculum. And a commission created more than a year ago by the legislature to provide an independent review of the state’s math and English standards, considered but ultimately declined to recommend the return to “traditional math” now advocated by Sen. Tillman.
The State Board of Education voted this week to make some recommended changes to the state’s math courses, but also rejected reversion to the old sequence.
Countering this widespread support for integrated math in the education community, a small but vocal minority has urged Sen. Tillman and his colleagues to move forward with the bill.
The Senate Education Committee is due to take up the measure next week.
Binker, M. (2016, June 1). “Senate bill takes high school math back to ‘traditional’ course.” WRAL.
Forcella, T. (2015, April 15). “Triangle High Five: A letter to the Academic Standards Review Commission.” EdNC.
Ferguson, T. (2015, June 15). “Math teachers write letter to Academic Standards Review Commission.” EdNC