Seattle schools win math textbook appeal

Mar 28, 2011

Seattle Public Schools will get to keep using a controversial math textbook. An appeals court struck down a challenge to the "Discovering" math curriculum by a group of parents and local residents who call it “mathematically unsound.”

As KPLU reported, a King County Superior Court judge ruled last year that the school board’s decision to use the curriculum was “arbitrary” and “capricious.” The appeals court judges disagreed, saying the challengers’ didn’t convince them the school board failed to give its choice due and honest consideration. The judges wrote:

"There is no basis for concluding that the board was willful and unreasoning in coming to its decision."

The original lawsuit was filed by:

  • Cliff Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric science professor,
  • Martha McLaren, a retired high-school math teacher, and
  • Da-Zanne Porter, the mother of a student at Cleveland High School in Seattle.  

The group has not yet decided if it will take its case further. For now, Mass simply says "the children of Seattle will continue to use some of the worst high school math textbooks in the nation."