Chariho School Parents’ Forum

June 6, 2008

More fuzzy math?

Filed under: Student Performance — Editor @ 10:47 am

From commenter Curious  Resident –

More Chariho fuzzy math:

The manner in which Rhode Island schools calculate graduation rates was changed recently. With the changes the graduation rates in Rhode Island have dropped significantly. Out of the Washington County High Schools Chariho had the largest drop in graduation rates going from 93% to 81%. Must be the constructivist math again?


  1. I think it has more to do with the portfolios than anything else. The construtivist math was not given to as many of this graduation class as those coming up behind them.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 6, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  2. Always excuses. Of the High Schools in Washington County, Chariho has the worst graduation results by far, and along comes an excuse from CharihoParent (who is not affiliated with Chariho in any way). Predictable as rain.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 6, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  3. CR, it’s not an excuse, it’s fact. I’ve listened to what my daughter, who is a senior, has told me about the kids not wanting anything to do with the portfolio. I take some of it with a grain of salt but I do believe that is has more to do with it than the math programs. Many of these students were not exposed to constructivist math. I will admit though that the school systems have failed the kids by not getting them to learn their times tables like we had to when we were in school.

    Comment by richmondrinews — June 6, 2008 @ 2:39 pm | Reply

  4. I assume the graduation rates are based on last year since the rates for this year are not yet known? Were portfolios required last year?

    Even if portfolios have something to do with the graduation rates, wouldn’t this apply to all the schools? What explains Chariho’s poor standing among schools in the area?

    No offense to you, but Chariho regularly fails our children and our communities, and CharihoParent always seems to have an excuse.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 6, 2008 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  5. My reference to fuzzy/constructivist math was a knock on Chariho’s administration and I did not mean it was the reason for children not graduating. Upon further contemplation, it would be understandable if children reaching High School having to come to terms with not being able to successfully handle higher level mathematics because they lack the skills would be so frustrated they might quit school. I could see that happening and it is another reason to get rid of the Ricci administration. The damage they’ve caused to our children is incalculable.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 6, 2008 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  6. My child’s teacher informed me that next year the kids would be learning “old school math”. A pilot program.

    Comment by RA — June 6, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  7. Why should it be a pilot program? “Old school math” never hurt us. At least when I’m in a store and see something for 25% off, I know how to figure it out in my head. Kids today can’t even give you back change without the cash register telling them how much to give you back.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 6, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  8. It’s true

    Comment by RA — June 6, 2008 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

  9. Bill, George, Bob, Holly, and any other member of the school committee that reads this blog.

    How can we see this new curriculum for ourselves. I think the parents should have an opportunity to see it before it is fully implemented. Perhaps, if that had happened before, our children would not be in the mess their in now.

    Saw something the other day. Not sure if it is the pilot program, but it looks like TERC and it had Scott Foresman on the bottom of the sheet. I’m not saying that they are the same and that we are headed down the wrong road again, but as a parent, I am very concerned.

    Is it possible to have some workshops, perhaps 2 or 3 to start, on different days of the week, with teachers and the curriculum director available to compare TERC with the Pilot program(s), so that parents’ concerns can be addressed. Can this be put on an agenda, if necessary. PLEASE!!!! Or maybe a in-depth powerpoint presentation can be created and put on the Chariho Website. Or maybe both?!

    Thank you and have a nice day!

    Comment by Lois Buck — June 7, 2008 @ 12:16 am | Reply

  10. The math sucks. They’ve known it. They didn’t care.

    Portfolios are a joke. Students who haven’t consistently done the school work put together a portfolio of B-level school work. Big deal! Teachers are supposed to decide if kids learned what they needed or not before passing them on to the next grade. Portfolios likely are used to let teachers off the hook for bad teaching. Kids taking physics, calculus and advanced course shouldn’t have the additional burden of proving they learned enough to graduate. Of course they did or they wouldn’t be able to take these courses!

    Community service is another graduation requirement that is bogus. How dumb are we to let schools decide what qualifies as community service? If my kids spend time working around their grandparents house and don’t have time for something the Ricci doesn’t think is a community service, too bad. Send your kids to me and I’ll sign them off on community service.

    Comment by Real Question — June 8, 2008 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

  11. I’m not against portfolios unless they are used to pass student who wouldn’t pass othewise? As an assignment I think the kids can learn from putting together portfolios.

    Reading in the paper it sounds like a large percentage of kids are not getting enough done on the portfolios. If it stops graduation then I bet the administration will come up with a way to let the kids get by.

    What is the hold up with the portfolios? Do they require extra work by teachers but the extra work isn’t in their union contract?

    I’m more concerned with Chariho graduating kids who don’t deserve to graduate. If they do this it weakens the diploma for the kids who earned them. If 50% of Chariho kids don’t graduate because they don’t have the knowledge, then graduating them to make the number look better is not the answer.

    Comment by Truth or Consequences — June 10, 2008 @ 11:23 am | Reply

  12. The portfolios don’t have much of anything to do wth the teachers. For the current graduating class it should includes tests and reports that we of at least good quality, a grade of 80 or better, from 10th through 12th grade. Sometimes it does require extra help on the part of the teacher and they have stepped up to the plate and have helped the students. Some students did not want to what was needed so that was the hold up. I know we had to put some pressure on our child to do what needed to be done. So in a nutshell, it required not only the student but the parents and teachers to be involved with them. It wasn’t easy for some but I congratulate each and every student that made it througth the process.

    Also, from what I can tell, it was used to pass students who would have otherwised failed but some studens who would have otherwised passed may have failed on their protfolio. That’s what some students we so afraid of.

    TorC, I really do hate the way you constantly cast a negative shadow over everything. It must be tough to live in your negative world. You speak about things without knowing about them and are so quick to cast your negativity around. I’m certainly I don’t live under your roof or work with you. I’d be ready to go jump off the Jamestown bridge!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 12, 2008 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  13. RQ, I’d never send my kids to you. I don’t want them to have your bitter, nasty attitude.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 12, 2008 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  14. Smart move CP. If you sent your kids to me they’d be held accountable for their actions. God forbid.

    Comment by Real Question — June 12, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  15. RQ, my child is held accountable for her actions. Once again, you speak without knowing anything about a person or their family. I hope those who have wanted to cast a negative light about the graduation portfolios, I hope you have read the article about the graduation portfolios in Friday’s Westerly Sun. Knowing what my child went through with the graduation portfolio, it wasn’t an easy process for any of the students. Seeing what RQ and TorC have had to say about the graduation portfolios with knowing anything about them makes me wonder how many other things they have spoken for and against without truly know anything about the subject at hand. It really does make them sound like a bunch of loud mouth buffoons.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 14, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  16. Portfolios are an excuse to pass kids along as “proficient”. We should all be so proud when our schools produce proficients students. Excellence or proficient? It’s a joke. Why do we have kids spending educational time putting together a portfolio trying to proof they learned something? Don’t we trust the grades teachers give them? Or maybe we can’t believe grades any more? Rumor has it that Chariho had dozens of kids who hadn’t completed their portfolios but amazingly they all managed to get done just in a nick of time! I wonder how they did that. I know more than you think about portfolios. If others want to delude themselves into thinking they have value then have fun.

    Comment by Real Question — June 15, 2008 @ 12:31 am | Reply

  17. What many people don’t know is that senior portfolios are one of several options available for schools. Chariho and other schools could choose from Graduation Portfolio, Exhibition (Senior Project), Certificate of Initial Mastery, and performance-based end-of-course exams.

    Most (if not all) schools in Rhode Island have avoided the end-of-course exams. I believe this is because exams are quantitative and the schools can’t “fix” the outcome. Senior projects and portfolios can be easily manipulated to achieve proficiency for the most students. It does seem awfully odd when Chariho reaches almost 100% compliance after being around 75% only a couple of weeks ago.

    For all the complaining about the new requirements, schools could have chosen to go the route of Massachusetts and New York where students cannot graduate without passing exams proving they learned what they were suppose to learn. From a student perspective, this can be frightening but all the work would have already been done as part of their normal classes. That is if they paid attention and actually learned the material.

    The downside to exams is the students who didn’t learn the material would be hard pressed to recover in time to pass an exam. Portfolios and Senior Projects allow for subjective assessment and thus teachers and administrators control the outcome at least as much as students. While these qualitative assessment may be more time consuming, the results can be controlled and the schools can claim that nearly every student is “proficient”.

    In my opinion Portfolios are a cop out for teachers and administrators. Hiding budget figures and creating complex budget items is a way for the administration to avoid fiscal accountability. Portfolios are a mechanism for the administration to avoid accountability for educational outcomes.

    Comment by Curious Resident — June 15, 2008 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

  18. Chariho Parent,
    You have recited figures and items that seem only those of us involved in the sytem would know. Why don’t you drop the moniker and post by your name?

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 15, 2008 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  19. No way. CharihoParent has told us several times they have no connection to Chariho or any of the towns. He might be a psychic and that’s how he gains access to figures and items from inside the system.

    Comment by Real Question — June 16, 2008 @ 12:25 am | Reply

  20. Mr. Felkner,
    I’m not affiliated with “the system” in any way, shape or form other than having been a concerned parent of a now former Chariho student. The figures and items that you seem think only those involved in the system would know are also available to those who dig hard and don’t just make assumptions. I try to keep on top things but I also know where to get my information from, as I’ve said before, I have some very good connections in the Chariho area.

    Comment by CharihoParent — July 12, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Reply

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