Update 10:14 p.m. Monday: The AJC has a good story on the creation of this controversial assignment,which was not vetted by the school.
Gwinnett Schools human resources officials are investigating the Beaver Ridge incident to decide whether punitive action is necessary. District officials said they would work with math teachers to come up with more appropriate questions. “These particular questions were an attempt at incorporating some of what students had been discussing in social studies with their math activity,” said Sloan Roach, Gwinnett Schools spokeswoman. ”One teacher developed the questions, another made the copies and it was used in four classes.”
One of the teachers involved in the incident is Hispanic, Braxton said. The district would not release the teachers’ names or races. All involved are being questioned about their role and are still employed with the district, Roach said. School officials said the questions were not intended to be offensive and that copies of the assignment were being pulled so they wouldn’t be circulated.
Back to the original post:
The AJC is reporting that state NAACP president Ed DuBose wants all Gwinnett teachers and staff involved in creating a worksheet for third graders that contained math word problems on slavery to be fired.
In a clumsy attempt to integrate a social studies unit on slavery into math, third grade teachers at Beaver Ridge Elementary created problems that asked students to figure out, “If Frederick got two beatings each day, how many beatings did he get in one week?” Parents were outraged when they saw the word problems.
But do these teachers deserve to be fired for their poor decision?
According to the AJC:
He said he would be calling Gwinnett School Superintendent Alvin Wilbanks today to ask that he deal with the issue at Beaver Ridge Elementary School in Norcross.
“The group responsible for allowing it to go forward should be fired not just reprimanded, but fired,” DuBose said. “I refuse to believe the teacher or teachers responsible for allowing it to go forward did not understand fully what they were doing. We need to understand how deep this is. Who all knew? What did they know?’’
Last Friday, in what has become a national story, several parents complained about a math assignment their children had gotten that contained questions about beatings and slavery. One of the math problems read, “Each tree has 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog