This blogpost should really be written on a napkin, coffee-stain circles surrounding illegible scribbling and little arrows going in all directions. In several places the napkin has ripped up from the sharpness of the pen. To say “work in progress” is giving it too much credit.
I’m not a Math teacher. I’m one of those teachers who thinks interdisciplinary learning is essential (there should even be a law), but when it comes down to it I have accepted the shackles of “Humanities” versus the mid/high school shackles labeled “Science”, “Math”, “Music”, etc. So in researching “America’s Choice” I not-so-proudly claim almost zero skills of critical analysis. I do not know whether “America’s Choice Navigator® is “good” or not, and in my research I’m leaving that to the Math folks.
Moreover, as I start doing a little research I realize how fluid a situation we’re in here. A commenter to yesterday’s post, Abuelita2, asks whether my school has “accepted” America’s Choice Navigator™. Great question, but from talking to my Math folks it’s not apparent that “acceptance” is an option. The only word we’re hearing is “mandated”. At the same time, it’s not clear (in fact, it’s a word meaning the complete, utter opposite of “clear”, beyond “unclear” to some new word we “Humanities” folks can invent…let’s call it “mudunclear“) just how my school is supposed to implement America’s Choice Navigator™ (btw, I made a mistake yesterday and we’re not “mandated” to use Ramp-Up, but instead are being vaguely “mandated” to use Navigator™).
Confused yet? Well get in a line longer than at your typical Great Depression soup kitchen because everybody I’ve talked to so far mentions just how mudunclear this is right now (or would if they knew about this newly invented “mudunclear” word we Humanities teachers have invented).
And all I got on top of that so far is a link or two:
Some guy named Bill Quirk has a critique of NCEE (the non-profit organization that spun off a for-profit arm to sell America’s Choice products) that looks to be worth reading, especially by Math teacher types.
Prince George County Schools in Virginia is a district of about equal size to APS. They evidently received a full-blown dog & pony show from NCEE presenting a plan to fully implement America’s Choice throughout the district. Here’s the .pdf of that dog & pony show. Costs of implementation included. No idea on whether they bought the dog, the pony or both.
That’s all I got at this point. Clear as mud. More mud to follow…more clarity requested from you guys out there.
P.S.: Abuelita2…how about you write a “guest” post on the subject? I’d love to read it, and you know far, far more about the subject that I ever will. Which, I admit, ain’t saying much.