Duval County Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is asking parents to be patient with the district's Common Core-aligned curriculum change.
Vitti entertained parent and community questions at Friday’s “Chat with the Supe” forum at the Beaches Library.
Rebecca Iannello is a mom to a Duval County kindergartner. She says her concerns include teacher morale and kids’ getting time outdoors .
“Realizing these are 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-year-olds that, if we develop the social aspect of them, then the academics will fall in line,” Iannello said. “So making sure that outside time is sacred.”
Many parents came to the forum concerned about Duval’s newly adopted Eureka, DUVAL Math curriculum. It’s aligned with Common Core standards and has teachers on a stricter lesson schedule.
Jarvis Baylor has a daughter in fourth grade. He says the steps required to solve math problems are turning his daughter off of math. And today’s chat with Vitti didn’t make him feel better.
“He said that I have to bear with it, Baylor said. “So right now what he’s basically telling me is this curriculum is set in stone for the next few years.”
Another mother came concerned because her daughter was getting math problems wrong for skipping small steps, despite still coming up with the correct answer.
Vitti says that’s something he hopes to tweak. But overall he defends the curriculum as giving kids a deeper understanding of math. He says students will be more prepared and competitive when applying to college.
A University of North Florida Chemistry professor came to the forum saying over the last few years, students are less able to critically-think through problems without step-by-step instructions.
Vitti says he believes the new curriculum will create critical-thinkers. He says Duval County is moving away from “fill in the bubble thinking’ associated with standardized tests.
Then next “Chat with the Supe” forum is Dec. 17 at Chets Creek Church.