Newport-Mesa teachers pick 2 math programs to test in grades 6-8

A truck with a message opposing the Swun Math program was parked outside a Newport-Mesa Unified School District board meeting in 2016. A committee of sixth- through eighth-grade teachers has chosen two other math programs to pilot, beginning in November and February.
(File Photo)

Two math programs that could replace the controversial Swun Math in sixth through eighth grades have been selected by a committee of teachers in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District for testing this school year.

Teachers will begin piloting Illustrative Mathematics by Open Up Resources, a nonprofit founded in 2014, from November through January, according to district spokeswoman Annette Franco.

Middle School Math by Agile Mind, a Texas-based company founded in 2002, will be tested from February through April, she said.

Curriculum at Open Up Resources is developed by a team of kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, mathematicians and education researchers, according to the organization’s website.

Agile Mind collaborates with the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin to provide “comprehensive, standards-centered lessons,” according to its website.

Newport-Mesa elementary schools began using Swun Math in 2013, but some parents and teachers have urged the school board to look at other Common Core-based math programs after finding errors and typos in Swun materials.

In May, trustees decided to replace Swun Math in kindergarten through fifth grade this school year, choosing the Math Learning Center’s Bridges in Mathematics, a K-5 curriculum that implements Common Core State Standards.

But sixth-graders continued to use Swun Math to give teachers more time to collaborate with middle school teachers and test other programs that could be used in grades six through eight.

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