A circuit court judge told the school system to makes those materials public.
A Frederick County resident whose request for documents from the school system was denied has won a victory. A judge has ordered the school system to release the materials to the public.
"I was interested in TERC Math and asked the school system for documents related to their math program, in particular, their mathematics position statements," says Jerry Jongerius, who has homes in both Maryland and Florida.
Jongerius made the request in 2009 under the Maryland Public Information Act. The School System turned him down, saying the documents were testing-related and their release would compromise the integrity of the system's instructional program.
The next year, Jongerius petitioned the Frederick County Circuit Court for a Judicial review. On Wednesday, March 13th, Judge Julie Stevenson Solt ordered the School System to make these documents available to the public.
The School System says these materials would harm the public, but Jongerius says that's not the case. "And when you take a look at the documents, it makes sense. There was never any reason for the school system to withhold these documents in the first place," he says.
Jongerius and other parents are opposed to the teaching of TERC Math in the public schools. "The fatal flaw in the TERC Investigations is that it did not teach standard algorithms," he says. They include standard addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division.
TERC Math is no longer taught in Frederick County Public Schools. "TERC Math came up with new ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide. One of the reasons that it was kicked out is that new school board members ran on the platform of eliminating TERC Math, and they got voted in and replaced it," Jongerius says.
Despite the elimination of TERC Math, Longerius feels he has won a victory with the judge's decision. "It's all worth it from the standpoint that the school system needs to learn that the Public Information Act is the law," he says.
He says the documents do not contain materials which call into question the teaching of TERC Math. But in private conversations, Jongerius says some teachers had reservations about this method for teaching mathematics.
"I have no agenda. My only thing was to get access to those documents, and the school system turned me down. So I acted on it," he says.