From Prince William County School policy:
Purchasing Textbooks: It is the policy of the Prince William County School Board that in each core curriculum area there is at least one currently adopted textbook on the appropriate level available to every student.
Textbooks and related materials shall be approved by the School Board or the Associate Superintendent for Student Learning and Accountability before being purchased. The following purchasing procedures have been established to assist in procuring textbooks and instructional materials.
A. The following is a suggested purchase allocation for purchasing textbooks after the adoption approval:
1. First year – As many copies as budgeted funds will allow, but at least 50% of student enrollment.
2. Second year – complete total purchasing requirement according to the policy of one copy per student.
3. Third through sixth years – maintain ample copies of adopted textbooks to meet policy requirements, one copy per student.
That sounds to me like there shall be 1 copy of a textbook in core academic areas for every student. This isn’t the state, this is Prince William County’s own policy.
PWC Schools are not following their own policy in math and haven’t been for several years. I believe this is a cheating way for the individual schools to save money. One classroom set of books is bought and that is the name of that tune. No homework is given in the math book and to the best of my knowledge, most of the math texts do nothing but sit there and gather dust.
Students need to learn to read across the curriculum, including math instruction. Students also need to have a math book if they need outside help. Try tutoring a kid without a math book. It’s fairly difficult to do unless you have a really good grasp of SOL curriculum. Then you can pull problems out of thin air or rely on old textbooks if you have your own private stash.
Regardless, if you ask around you will be hard pressed to find a kid who has been assigned his or her own math textbook to take back and forth to school. Prince William County’s half-assed approach to providing every student with a math book violates their own policy and certainly does not conform to best practice in the field of education.
It’s time for the school system to stop cheating the kids and the tax payers and to assign each student a math textbook. Yes, it’s getting personal now. Come on Stonewall High School–get with the program. Come on Reagan Middle and Stonewall Middle, get with the program.
You are not acting in the best interests of children. You are handicapping students and creating innumeracy.
Those running for positions on the school board need to address this issue.