SpringBoard in real life
Superintendent Jeff Eakins took quite the beat-down at the Sept. 6 Hillsborough County School Board meeting from board members who wanted him to get rid of the College Board's SpringBoard math and English curriculum products.
The board made its wishes very clear, they told him. Parents were complaining. Teachers were complaining. Students were literally burning their SpringBoard books.
Is it all that bad?
There is a lot of information here, and we welcome input from teachers. In essence, those who were surveyed showed SpringBoard is widely used and conforms to the Florida Standards, which is what teachers are required to teach and students are required to learn. It requires students to work collaboratively, a practice also valued in today's schools. None of this should be surprising, given the fact that the Florida Standards are modeled on Common Core, and College Board is closely affiliated with the backers of Common Core.
In their open-ended answers, some teachers said the SpringBoard lessons are too challenging for students who do not have the right preparation, and that those students sometimes feel they are not smart enough for the subject matter. The report includes recommendations for improvement.
But it is in no means an indictment, or a call to get rid of SpringBoard altogether.
With a busy agenda on Tuesday, it remains to be seen how much discussion there will be.
We've heard a lot about SpringBoard at student forums and at the teacher town hall meetings that Eakins held late last year.
To summarize the complaints: Students did not like the reading passages, which they found dense and boring. They also did not like the math workbooks (the term of art is "consumable textbooks,") as they did not have enough room for students to work out the problems.