LCS discusses new math books

Published 8:35 am Thursday, April 15, 2021

At its April meeting, the Lanett City School Board discussed the adoption of new math textbooks.

Earlier this school year, the Alabama Department of Education announced it was going to release a new state-approved math textbook list, as it made changes to its math curriculum. Each school district in the state was required to review each textbook on the list and make a decision on which textbooks, if any, would work with its schools. If districts did not believe the textbooks met their standards, they could submit a review of a different book.

The LCS approved the adoption of the entire state-approved textbook list during Monday’s meeting.

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“The reason for that being, these adoptions last at least six years, and sometimes they get pushed out even longer. To give us the most flexibility during that time, we thought it would be wise to adopt the entire state-approved list in case we need additional resources or if we add a different course at the high school,” LCS SPED Federal Programs Coordinator Christy Carpenter said.

Board Member Katie Walton said she wanted staff members to figure out which book works best for students, as she believes some of the books make the courses harder than they needed to be.

“I wish that our staff would go through this and evaluate the textbooks because some of them are not here for our children,” Walton said. “That’s the main thing that I evaluated for. We shouldn’t have to compare our children with Hoover and still meet the Alabama Course of Study. It’s still on a different level. If you get something too difficult, they’re not going to master some of the basics.”

Carpenter told the board that each school has a textbook committee that is reviewing the state-approved list.

“We’ve watched presentations the publishers put out and we have access to the scores that the state textbook committee gave to each individual series,” Carpenter said. “It tells the pros and cons. Some are stronger in the digital materials, but then some didn’t meet the standards as well as others. The committee’s comments are very detailed. Each school’s team has access to all the information, so they’re using that when making their decisions. Each school is narrowing down which program they want to use for their students, so there may be a different publisher at each level. We feel that is good, so each school can determine which curriculum best fits their own students.”

Carpenter said each school should have that decision finalized in the next two weeks.

During her superintendent’s report, Jennifer Boyd discussed the LCS’s Cognia accreditation.

Cognia gave the LCS a score of 312.9 on its Index of Education Quality (IEQ), which is roughly 63 points higher than its 2015 score. The max score is 400. According to Boyd, the five-year average range is 278.34 to 283.33.

“I certainly want to commend my staff, my school administration, our teachers, our students and our stakeholders that participated in the process,” Boyd said. “It’s not perfect, but I am certainly excited. It feels good when you have worked hard to be able to see the fruits of your labor. We will continue to strive for that 400 [IEQ score].”