Governing Board Room, 7:00 p.m.
Gilbert Public Schools
140 S. Gilbert Road
Gilbert, AZ 85296
HERE is the link to the agenda.
This week the board will be addressing, among other things, solar panels, selection of textbooks, and yet another budget override election.
Regarding the textbook choices, please read the concerns expressed by Gilbert resident Harry Mathews, in his May 13 comments to the board relating to the Carnegie Algebra I textbook:
President Burk and members of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board my name is Harry Mathews and I am a resident and taxpayer in Gilbert. I recently reviewed the math textbooks on display in the curriculum office. There were 2 books that caught my attention: The Carnegie Algebra I and II books. I will address here Volume I.
In the introduction of the Algebra I textbook it states that in this text students will be solving “real world problems”. Here are some of the “real world problems” referenced. I had a limited amount of time to review the books but I did not see how these perceived world problems were solved through the exercises given.
Chapter 1 – Are game shows good or bad?
Chapter 2 – Are the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts viable institutions? And are sports rules fair?
Chapter 3 – addresses psychological pricing and global warming.
Chapter 4 – touches on animal rights
Chapter 5 – discusses problems of overpopulation, urbanization, unfairness of banks and radicals
Chapter 6 – Large business versus small business
Chapter 7 – Challenging basketball rules, the safety of rafting and Black Friday
Furthermore the subjects presented for questioning are highly controversial yet there is no discussion made beyond certain presuppositions of the authors. They ask the students to state their opinions when only one side of the issue is given. This is blatantly leading and does not encourage critical thinking. It does however resemble deconstructionist critical theory and presupposes there really is only one opinion that is viable-that of the authors.
It seems that the book tries to be a sociology book, psychology book, philosophy book and a general pamphlet for recruiting political activists.
I suspect that a lot of the books we will encounter aligned with Common Core will be like this. I only hope that we can find some books that focus on teaching algebra rather than indoctrinating the students into a particular worldview. If I may, I would like to suggest that in the case of the Carnegie Algebra I and II textbooks we look for something better.
Thank you for your time.