Ironwood Ridge parents outraged over “experimentation” with their children

carnegie-mathIronwood Ridge and CDO parents and students came before the Amphi Governing Board on Tuesday night to express their outrage over the recent introduction of a new math curriculum as part of the Common Core adoption. While the vast majority of the attendees were from Ironwood Ridge, several parents of junior high students came to share their concerns for their learners’ future.

One high school senior received sustained applause from the crowd of about 120, when he held up a stack of paper and told the Board, “In one day, we collected over 600 signatures protesting the use of the Carnegie Learning Math curriculum.”

Parents, who identified themselves respectively as a software designer, an astrophysicist, a computer programmer, and an electrical engineer, came forward to object to their children being used as guinea pigs with an experimental curriculum.

One parent asked, “The math program was excellent; why are you fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed?”

A parent, who identified himself as an electrical engineer, said, “The curriculum is dysfunctional. At best, it is one third of a math curriculum. The district is forbidding teachers to teach fundamental math concepts and requiring them to use textbooks – after reviewing them – that are a total failure.”

“Not only were teachers not consulted or included in the adoption of the Carnegie Learning Math system, they are all fearful of losing their jobs if they don’t use it,” claimed one parent.

The most repeated refrain was that they did not agree to allow their children to be used in an experiment.

Although the parents were willing and ready to assist their children in learning the new math, they said the texts made it impossible. They described textbooks that lacked “sufficient detail and samples” from which parents might discern the methodology employed.

According to Carnegie, “The curricula were developed to align to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.”


  1. This boneheaded move will only serve to harm those who don’t have math aptitude. It’s a fact that some students just don’t get math so instead of helping them, let’s change the rules and make it more difficult. When I was in school I didn’t get math, still don’t, but I made a very nice career out of using my other talents. I can make change, figure out a restaurant tip and balance my checking account. That’s all I need. Yes, emphasize math and the sciences but play to individual strengths too. Correct English speaking and writing are very important but no one seems to care about them.

  2. I attended and spoke at this meeting. What was ironic, was that the Cambridge Scholars of Amphi High school, and the National Merit Semifinalists from all district high schools were honored. These students who are in Pre-Calc or above have lucked out – no Common Core Math for them. Unfortunately their younger friends and siblings are not so lucky. Will there be any National Merit Semifinalists from Amphi 2 years from now??

  3. Since there’s more voters in AZ than there are governor and superintendent of public instruction, I’m thinking that it would be a cinch to override the adoption of Common Core Curriculum by having enough of the taxpaying public which supports school districts to raise H-E-Double-Toothpicks over any part of the Common Core Curriculum and tossing it out.

  4. I am one of the parents who spoke at the district meeting. I have been trying to find out who made the final decision to adopt the math texts by Carnegie Learning. Anyone with a basic grasp of math would have surely passed on these books. The person or persons were either subjected to a “bait and switch” or have never taught math, algebra or geometry. If the latter is the case, that person or persons has no business making such decisions as they are clearly unqualified. having awarded Carnegie a five year contract the persons responsible should be terminated or demoted from their position. The district should retain counsel and litigate to terminate the contract and recover the wasted taxpayer money spent on these texts. I want the superintendent and the assistant superintendent held accountable. The buck stops with them.

  5. PS If anyone would like to review the Carnegie Books for themselves I am happy to lend them my children’s copy. One last point I would like to make. Unlike the affordable healthcare act, no one forced common core upon Arizona. Our Governor and the legislature could refuse. Other States have opted out. Care to ton guess which states’ children are doing better in math?

  6. Parents; Try private or the two better Charter schools, like Basis or Sonoran Science Academy. My experience is with SSA and I have no regrets. The school is excellent, Math,Computer, Science and great courses in literature and history ( the real one) as well. My daughter went from average student to superior and well equipped to attend college where she is now at NAU. Try it when the education board slams the door in your face, your children are worth it.

    P.S. I investigated SSA curriculum thoroughly before I sent my child there.

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