The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 18, 2007


Carlisle School begins math curriculum review

Can the Carlisle School's math curriculum be improved? To find out, administrators, teachers and parents last December began working together on a Math Curriculum Review Team, collecting data on the math program for every grade. Math Specialist Liz Perry described the review team's progress both at the May 2 Carlisle School Committee (CSC) meeting and later via e-mail with the Mosquito.

The review team includes, "a regular education teacher representative from each grade level K-8, one special education teacher representative for grades K-4 and one for grades 5-8, one principal, one math specialist/curriculum coordinator, the Superintendent, and I believe four parents," she explained.

The team has designed surveys to "address what teachers and parents think about mathematics education in general and the program(s) we are currently using in Carlisle." Carlisle teachers have completed their survey, she said, and the parent survey will be sent out soon. Data might also include the work of focus groups and sub-committees.

Analyzing the data takes time

The committee will study the effectiveness of the current K-8 math program, and can also use the data collected to compare the school's curriculum to other programs. If the team makes a recommendation to explore other math programs, she said, "This would segue into a phase where several programs would be piloted. Eventually, decisions regarding what program(s) to adopt would be made." Perry added, "A review cycle can take anywhere from two to six years."

Review cycle is routine

"Curriculum reviews are not done because there are specific concerns," Perry said. "There is no preconceived notion that we will or will not continue with the program(s) we currently employ." She explained that curriculum reviews are typically done on a rotating basis every few years with different curriculum areas beginning on different years. This formal type of curriculum review has not been done at the Carlisle School in recent years, and Perry expects the process may be fine-tuned as they gain experience, "Hopefully this will help streamline future review of other curriculum areas."

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito