Goodbye "Everyday Math," Hello "EnVision" in Hamilton schools - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Goodbye "Everyday Math," Hello "EnVision" in Hamilton schools

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Hamilton County elementary students and teachers will be learning mathematics a new way when classes resume in August, but one principal says the new program, "EnVision," may only be a stopgap measure.

The principal, who asked not to be identified, said that a textbook committee agreed to scrap the controversial "Everyday Math" program in favor of the new concept, but by 2014, the school district may have to shift gears again.  At that time, the district will be required to meet new federal standards, "which will necessitate the need for higher-level thinking skills and taking several steps to solve a problem."  The principal said that "EnVision" is a return to more traditional computational math problem solving skills, "but probably won't measure up to the standards of 2014."

The Hamilton County school district usually adopts new textbooks every six years. Everyday Math was adopted, amid much debate in 1999.  District 1 Board member Rhonda Thurman, and her predecessor Bill Eldridge protested mightily when the program was adopted, and was later renewed.  Thurman said, "Teachers struggled with it, parents struggled with it, and needless to say the kids did too." 

The math adoption was approved by the School Board at its April 21 meeting, and was largely overshadowed by budgetary concerns and growing storm surrounding then-superintendent Jim Scales, who has since been replaced by Rick Smith.  Smith is now serving on an interim basis, but is expected to be hired on a long-term basis next week.   At the April meeting, Thurman said, "I can't believe we haven't changed programs before now.  What has taken us so long?"

Test scores through the years showed mixed results for "Everyday Math."  From time to time, there were signs of improvement, only to be followed by flat or declining math scores a year or two later.  In recent years, low-performing schools showed modest increases, although Thurman was reluctant to give the program much credit.  "Sometimes there's nowhere to go but up," she said.

Here is more information on the EnVision math program by Pearson, which will be used in Hamilton County math classes this fall.

Daily Problem-Based Interactive Math Learning followed by Visual Learning strategies deepen conceptual understanding by making meaningful connections for students and delivering strong, sequential visual/verbal connections through the Visual Learning Bridge in every lesson. Ongoing Diagnosis & Intervention and daily Data-Driven Differentiation ensure that enVisionMATH gives every student the opportunity to succeed.

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