IM curriculum may experience shift

Carnegie+IM2+textbooks+sit+on+the+shelf+in+IM2+teacher+Doug+Ash%E2%80%99s+class.+When+RJUHSD%E2%80%99s+contract+with+Carnegie+expires%2C+the+district+may+look+into+other+options+for+their+IM2+curriculum.+
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IM curriculum may experience shift

Carnegie IM2 textbooks sit on the shelf in IM2 teacher Doug Ash’s class. When RJUHSD’s contract with Carnegie expires, the district may look into other options for their IM2 curriculum.

Carnegie IM2 textbooks sit on the shelf in IM2 teacher Doug Ash’s class. When RJUHSD’s contract with Carnegie expires, the district may look into other options for their IM2 curriculum.

(DANYA NUGYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Carnegie IM2 textbooks sit on the shelf in IM2 teacher Doug Ash’s class. When RJUHSD’s contract with Carnegie expires, the district may look into other options for their IM2 curriculum.

(DANYA NUGYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(DANYA NUGYEN / EYE OF THE TIGER)

Carnegie IM2 textbooks sit on the shelf in IM2 teacher Doug Ash’s class. When RJUHSD’s contract with Carnegie expires, the district may look into other options for their IM2 curriculum.

NICOLE KHUDYAKOV

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This article is the second of a two-part series on IM course changes.
This part will discuss the possibility of anothercurriculum overhaul for the IM pathway.
Click here for the first article, published November 13th.
(‘IM coursebook changes frustrate staff,’ N. Khudyakov).

Earlier this year, RJUHSD IM1 and IM2 teachers were introduced to the revised second edition of the Carnegie Learning coursebooks. Since that time, teachers have been working to reorganize and restructure the curriculums of the affected IM classes to suit both their timeframe and their students’ needs.

In a board agenda briefing issued May 9, 2017, RJUHSD noted that Carnegie Learning increased the price per unit textbook from $16.00 in the 2014-2017 agreement, to $26.42 per textbook in the 2017-2020 agreement. Though the board approved renewing the contract with Carnegie Learning until it’s expiration date in 2020, RJUHSD is currently looking into pursuing alternatives outside of the coursebook provider.

Assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Jess Borjon is leading the effort in finding options with more “financial sustainability” than what Carnegie currently provides the district.
“We are examining alternatives,” Borjon said. “We haven’t ruled Carnegie out as a curriculum, but the cost definitely will be a factor.”

According got Borjon, it is too costly for the district to continue buying disposable textbooks at $728,999 per an estimated 26,000 books — as compared to the cost of the 2014-2017 contract, for which the total expenditure was $486,744. However, the district is currently negotiating with Carnegie to figure out the final price for coursebooks and other materials.

The district’s integrated math coach, Carol Pryor, acts as a go-between for math departments around the district and the district office.

She communicates with teachers and listens to any concerns they may have before bringing them to the district. Pryor anticipated that the district may need to change math curriculum.

“Since the renewal in 2017, we have understood that we may not be able to sustain the expense of Carnegie,” Pryor said.

According to Pryor, a meeting held earlier this year drove teachers and administrators to consider curriculum options “including online materials, creating our own curriculum, or renewing with Carnegie if the prices came down.”

As of now, Borjon is looking into other publishers, as well as resources for a math curriculum beyond textbooks.

“Everything is on the table,” Borjon said. “There is no specific vendor or textbook that we’ve settled on yet to examine.”

RHS IM1 teacher Chaudra Wood fears that another change in material will promote instability in the math curriculum. She believes too much change in a short time period will overwhelm teachers.

“We want to improve our math scores, but it’s really tough to do that when we can’t work on improving our curriculum if we’re restarting every other year, so it’s just frustrating from a teacher perspective,” Wood said.

RHS IM2 teacher Doug Ash feels curriculum consistency and continuity are important for teacher and student success alike.

He believes keeping the Carnegie curriculum, whether in textbook format or through an online platform, will have better results than forgoing Carnegie Learning materials entirely.

“It would be extremely burdensome. We’re all tired. We’re all exhausted. We’re putting in a lot of extra hours and to have to redo it again would be disheartening, to say the least,” Ash said. “That would be three restarts in six years and it’s hard to get proficient as a teacher if

(JORDAN DEL VALLE TONOIAN / EYE OF THE TIGER)
Above, students work on a quiz in Sandra Schmatjen’s IM2 class. Pictured below is math teacher Chaundra Wood, one of the Integrated Math teachers who will be affected if a curriculum change occurs.

you’re changing every two or three years because it takes a year or two to really get comfortable with the material.”

Beyond RHS, teachers district-wide are concerned that another change in curriculum will have negative effects on student learning. Oakmont teacher Jennifer Weast believes keeping a stable curriculum will leave a better impact.

“Right now, I’m just scrambling to stay a day ahead of my students. The thought of reaching the point of being truly prepared in two years and then being told that yes, in fact, we will be changing curriculum again is disheartening,” Weast said. “I’m hoping the district finds a way to make it work with Carnegie so students and teachers can get the best out of the course.”

The district’s initial transition from CPM textbooks to Carnegie first occurred with the start of the 2014 contract.

Once the contract ended, Borjon and other district office members met with math department representatives. Despite the price hike, they voted a unanimous yes to keep the Carnegie curriculum.
Borjon predicts that future negotiations and more serious talks regarding another shift in curriculum will be similarly filled with teacher participation.

According to Pryor, there will be more discussion surrounding plans for the math curriculum this coming spring “in order to stay ahead of the potential for a 2020-2021 shift.”