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Mabton mulls new math curriculum

MABTON - With state standards having changed twice since 2005 when Mabton schools last adopted a new math curriculum, the Mabton School Board is now considering updated materials for high school algebra and geometry courses.

Robin Washam presented the need to the board last night, Monday. She said algebra and geometry teachers have done all they can to use the materials on hand.

Washam said teachers are taking lessons from three different books "...and chopping them into incremental pieces."

The problem with that approach, she told the board, is that students do not have a "full picture" of the themes and background information that carries from one chapter to the next.

With new testing standards on the horizon, she says it's time for the district to consider adopting new curriculum in those subject matters.

Washam shared a proposal from publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with a total cost of $9,741, not including shipping. The order would provide 60 algebra books and 60 geometry books, plus teachers' materials.

In addition, the publisher would provide complimentary algebra and geometry materials - including digital resources - valued at $10,419.

The school board opted not to take action on the proposal last night, but instead asked to have another proposal that would allow all 100 or so students in algebra and geometry to have their own books instead of classes having to share books.

School board chair Elsa Sanchez asked to have an expanded proposal brought back, because many students need to take books home to complete their homework, especially those who are involved with after-school sports and other activities.

That was met with general support, with Superintendent Minerva Morales estimating the additional cost would be in the neighborhood of $4,000.

The board also asked Washam to include in the new proposal - to be reviewed next month - the cost of new Algebra II curriculum so it is consistent with the new algebra and geometry material.

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