The Walkout Shouldn’t Have Targeted MVP


Mason Barish

The MVP curriculum.

Mason Barish, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, April 10th, the Green Hope student body walked out against the “new” math curriculum. The reason “new” in quotes is because, for many, this isn’t the first switch to MVP. The way the system is being taught is similar to the 8th grade math courses in middle school. If you are surprised by MVP, chances are you weren’t at Davis Drive or any other pilot program for the curriculum implementation.

There is not an inherent problem with MVP, but rather the way it is taught.  For example, last year before learning a new task or subject, students would receive a worksheet that explained basic formulas, ideas, or strategies for solving a lesson’s equations. After students became familiar with the information on the worksheet, they could then move onto the MVP task, which correlated with the lesson and further expanded on the concepts. MVP should be used for pushing the boundaries of an idea, and that isn’t a bad thing. The curriculum also encourages students to learn more independently, which is an important skill to have before going to college.

However, it would be criminal to deny that there isn’t a teaching problem, and I think that this is a result of poor time management. Once teachers adapt to the curriculum, or there is extra practice time added within a class period, what is there preventing a student from being successful?

While I disagree with the idea of teachers being “facilitators,” the group work involved with MVP has been beneficial for me because I see other student’s perspectives and how they solve problems. Many of the problems, it seems, stem from some teachers who double-down on their facilitator role even when a student is pleading for some help or guidance. Remember, we are just kids.

And while the implementation of MVP and the role of the facilitator are problems, they are not the biggest one.  The real, present threat to students’ grades is students themselves — something quite evident when you look around a classroom for yourself and see plenty of students are on their phones, ignoring work and talking, or even dozing off.

Though it is undeniable that a number of kids walked out because they cared about their grades and success, that wasn’t the same reason for everyone. Prior to the walkout, I asked several students in MVP classes if they were going to walk out. The overwhelming went like this “I’m gonna walk out if I have assignments in my 3rd period because I don’t want to work.”

This behavior clearly reflects a student body dedicated to learning.

Close to 400 students attended the walkout, and, when I asked students around me why they attended, they said they responded that they just didn’t want to be in class.

Sure, we can hope MVP goes away next year but is it really that much of a problem? In Math 2 classes, a 3rd of the students taking the class were left without a real teacher for more than a week- a recipe for disaster and the inevitable destruction of grades. This seems like a bigger, more impactful concern.

Additionally, students who took Math 2 in middle school their opinion MVP math. They said that it was much easier and difficult to fail. Collectively, we, as a freshmen class, need to adapt to high school courses and the independent work that goes along with them. I know I need to pay more attention in class and study more for tests and quizzes. We need change, but not something so drastic just because the “prestige of Green Hope” is at stake. I’ve started doing great in my class since I’ve gotten a teacher to replace the substitute my class had.

My suggestions? Go to tutorials, try to pay more attention, and talk it out privately with your teacher after class. Also, remember, some subjects just aren’t for you. For myself, I struggle a lot with math as well and I’m taking steps to do better. If you google a problem you are having trouble with, or look up a Khan Academy lesson, which is entirely free, you’ll have a better chance of understanding. There is a library of online knowledge available to you at your fingertips. I feel that if a lot of these students aren’t giving it their best shot and that if they aren’t doing everything they can to improve their grades, which apparently matter so much to them, then the curriculum isn’t to blame.

However, if the students show that they are doing everything to improve, and their teachers are refusing to help them on anything,  then we have a teacher problem. Based on some opinions I’ve heard regarding certain Math 2 teachers, there could very well be a teacher problem. These opinions have been further supported since the walkout because a teacher was reported to have offered extra points on a quiz or test if students didn’t attend. This is between students and teachers. This walkout shouldn’t have been against MVP, it should have been against the teachers who aren’t trying their best to help their students succeed.