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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

SpringBoard, the good and the bad, is up for discussion Tuesday in Hillsborough

8

December

The Hillsborough County School District can wean itself off SpringBoard -- but it won't be cheap.

In these budget-minded times, the district will need to spend $11.8 million on new math and English books to last two years. That compares with the $3.7 million they would use to continue using the SpringBoard workbooks, otherwise known as "consumable texts."

The more expensive replacements would be in the English books, according to this report, which breaks down all the comparisons on Page 26.

So the question remains: How bad is SpringBoard? Bad enough to put a big dent in the budget at a time when the district is all about austerity?

For more than a year, board members and administrators have been at odds about these math and English materials that the district buys as part of its relationship with the vendor, College Board.

In public meetings, students have talked of burning their books in frustration, and teachers have insisted the system is sapping the joy out of learning.

But SpringBoard also has fans in the administration and in the teaching ranks. It is designed with Common Core in mind, and SpringBoard advocates say it therefore aligns very well with Florida's variation on Common Core, the Florida Standards.

According to the report, barriers exist for students who have limited vocabulary, and there are complaints that the "novels and other reading materials do not sufficiently meet the needs of students."

On the plus side, FSA scores have improved in the grades that use SpringBoard. And the district is making efforts to train teachers in how to use SpringBoard more effectively, along with supplemental materials for the students who lack the foundation to handle such advanced work.

Board members will discuss the issue at a workshop Tuesday at 9 a.m.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:18pm]

    

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