CPSB to vote on new textbooks Tuesday - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

CPSB to vote on new textbooks Tuesday

(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Last week, the Calcasieu Parish School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee recommended the board approve textbook purchases for the upcoming school year.

The new books are fully aligned with Common Core, but not everyone is on board with the idea.

With ongoing legal battles over Common Core, some question whether the board should buy the books, which are also over budget. Those are two main concerns cited by opponents of the new books.

At J.D. Clifton, paper pom-pom's and alphabet charts have started going up, and with students heading back to school in less than two weeks, many teachers are already preparing their classrooms.

Some of them are already stocked with the new textbooks.

While $2.8 million has already been spent on the new Common Core aligned textbooks, another $700,000 in materials still needs approval from the Calcasieu Parish School Board.

“What we would like to see the board support us with this Tuesday is the remaining text sets,” said Elementary Math Consultant Tricia Miller.

However, at already $600,000 over budget, not everyone thinks they're necessary.

“As a taxpayer, parent and teacher, I'd like to appeal to the CPSB to have them pause and really think about the expenditure they’re about to make,” said Marla Baldwin.

Citing budget concerns and the ongoing Common Core lawsuit, Baldwin says, “We may or may not be able to use those textbooks. It just really will depend on how that court battle ends.”

Baldwin says teachers should continue printing their own materials for free like they did last year, until the lawsuit ends.

“John White has even said our test scores remained stable this year, so it really seems the purchase is unnecessary at this point,” said Baldwin.

Terry Holden with the Louisiana Association of Educators calls it a horse and buggy move, saying funds could be better spent.

Holden questioned, “Why are we buying books when we could buy iPads and download the software?”

But curriculum team members maintain the new textbooks are necessary with the new curriculum, and training and professional development this summer has been positive.

Dr. Vicky Hand, Middle School Math Consultant explained, “It really supported our students as they developed mastery of very specific content, but it also provided a framework from which our teachers could deliver that content with fidelity.”

The curriculum team says elementary schools have their Eureka Math books already and some of their ELA materials.

In middle schools, they say only math books are needed.

The CPSB will vote Tuesday at 4:45 p.m.

Those opposed to the purchases have planned a protest before that meeting outside the school board.

Additional protest information is available here: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Exercise-your-rights-.html?said=1116179665749&aid=j9pc79X8BnU

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.
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