Wake County Schools

Wake students plan walkout to protest new math curriculum

Posted April 9, 2019 8:43 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2019 5:18 a.m. EDT

— Students at Green Hope High School in Cary plan to walk out of school Wednesday morning to protest a math program they say is failing Wake County students.

The Wake County Public School System invested more than $1.4 million to implement Mathematics Vision Project, or MVP, starting last year. The MVP program encourages critical thinking by having students work together to solve problems instead of providing direct instruction from teachers.

"It's just been very stressful. [I] put in a tremendous amount of work and don't get anywhere," said Brandon Gipp, a Green Hope High honors student who said he had to hire a tutor to pass the class. "The majority of what I've learned has been through myself and through my tutor."

School district spokeswoman Sara Clark said administrators are working with Green Hope High and other schools to offer support with lesson plans and instruction.

"We believe MVP has been successful in aligning and improving our math curriculum across the district," Clark said in an email.

Cyndy White, whose son is also struggling with MVP, said she's frustrated by the experience.

"I don't feel the county is doing enough. I don't think they are listening," White said. "The only thing I want is my child to learn math."

Utah-based MVP issued the following statement:

The Mathematics Vision Project materials known as MVP math have received top marks in unbiased curriculum reviews, have been selected by numerous school districts and schools for classroom use and have been deployed with great success in the United States and internationally. Teachers and schools create their own classroom climate and make their own decisions with respect to instruction, assessment and grading. The MVP team is not in a position to directly observe the use of the curriculum, thus the situation in your area is more appropriately addressed by Wake County Public School System teachers and leadership.  We support their efforts to provide high-quality learning experiences for all students.

Gipp, who organized the walkout, said he hopes taking a stand will make a difference.

"We're really hoping to send a message to the district because we are currently being used as their guinea pigs, and we've had enough," he said.