Parents frustrated after WCPSS keeps math curriculum, promises improvements

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The letter that popped into Wake County inboxes Friday afternoon was not what many had hoped to read. Many of them wanted to see the school system's new MVP math curriculum go away. And they're not buying the promises of improvements.

When hundreds of students at Cary's Green Hope High School defiantly walked out of class in April, filling the football stadium to protest the math learning system, Blaine Dillard's son was right there with them.

Dillard says his son's math grades went from A's before this school year to D's and F's since MVP took hold. But, it's not just the grades that bother this Wake County father.

"Grades go up and down, they fluctuate," Dillard said. "The things is, the kids aren't learning when they can not make anything more than 40's or 50's on a test time and time again. Something is severely broken with the program."

MVP stands for Mathematics Vision Project. WCPSS implemented the new curriculum as a better way to get students to understand and explain their answers rather than just replicating a memorized formula.

But, Dillard and hundreds of other parents, who've demonstrated at school board headquarters and spoken out at board meetings, call MVP a failure.

"Parents and parents are saying their kids are coming home and can not do their homework," he said. "Which means they can not do the test."

In response to a 40-page complaint filed by parents, the district sent a one and a half page letter on Friday.

"I do not (trust this letter)," Dillard said. "I don't trust it because there's no meat in there."

The letter from Edward McFarland, WCPSS Chief Academic Officer, reads in part:

"The District convened a Curriculum Review Committee consisting of District staff, principals, and teachers... (and) based on feedback from the Committee and stakeholders, the District will continue to use MVP as its core math curriculum with modified implementation and additional supports... however, every member recommended at least some changes and improvements to the curriculum."

Dillard and the other parents say the district had promised them that parents would be on the committee, not simply ask for feedback. There's little trust the changes will suffice or be the significant change they want.

"This is not the first time we've heard they're gonna make improvements and make the program better," Dillard said. "This was really a high-level response that just glossed over the issues. They did not address any of the points."

The next chapter in this months-long back and forth comes June 18 when the committee's findings and recommendation are formally presented to the school board and to the public.
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