An overhaul of the math program, community service at Black Rock High School, and labor negotiation progress were on the floor at the regular meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education. Reporter Dan Stork was there and hits the high points…

A tag team of administrators, curriculum specialists, and math teachers presented plans for an integrated mathematics curriculum to the MUSD Board of Education. The plan is the fruit of a long effort by a team that included the secondary school math teachers in the district, working through frequent and long uncompensated meetings.  The idea of integrated math is that it will replace the current separate algebra, geometry, algebra 2, and statistics offerings with math courses that apply methods from different areas of mathematics to real-life problems at every grade level. Presenters of the plan urged the board to increase the minimum requirement for graduation from the current two years to three years of mathematics, so that there would not be long gaps in students’ practice of math. Current ninth to 12th graders will continue with the current program, with the transition to integrated math only fully affecting current sixth graders. In a related issue, Karalee Hargrove reported that the state department of education has decided to suspend the Academic Performance Index (or API) program, and its associated standardized testing, for two years, until 2016.

A student representative from Black Rock High School told about that school’s requirement for 75 hours of community service from each of its students. She listed how that is met: in animal shelters, youth clubs, senior centers, and highlighted a recent desert cleanup by five students in the Sky Harbor area.

Classified employee representative Maria Brunetti reported that her union has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with the District. She cautioned that, because of a “me-too” clause in the CSEA contract, if the teachers’ union does better at the bargaining table, then the classified employee will go back to negotiations to even things up.

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