A night with the ladies...

Earlier this week some neighbors and friends hung out, drank wine and ate a bit too much on my back veranda. About 10 moms, parents of kids in every level of Bridgewater schools, sat in the candlelight discussing for many hours.

While we did talk about many other things, school-talk dominated the conversation at my end of the table.

Some of the comments were critical, some positive. Of the six of us talking school, at least four were current or former teachers (none in district). One woman said "I work in a more affluent district, with higher test scores, but I still think that my kids are getting a better all-around education here." I trust her judgment - her kids are smart cookies!

Several parents, however, felt the education is sub-par. "They call the language arts program a "balanced-literacy" program, but really it is whole-language. And the national reading coalition (forgive me A. if I am misquoting)said that the best is a 50/50 balance. If you can't achieve that, then the emphasis should be on phonics. Here there is nearly no phonics." Other parents were complaining about the lack of direct grammar, spelling and other components in the writing program.

And then of course there was the math question. I am no expert in maths - and my kids are doing well in the program, every one of their teachers has said positive things about Everyday Math (at least 2 taught both before and after its implementation) so EM is not my beef. However, there were some very important points brought up.

Next time I have such an evening, I should invite some BOE members, the Superintendent/Asst. Superintendent, a couple of administrators and a few more teachers.

That would make for an even more lively evening!


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