My child attends Doral Academy. We have been impressed with how our child thinks and problem solves in math. I would be interested to see this research. The scores this year seem to be outperforming in most grade levels compared to their neighborhood schools. My understanding is they are using the newest version of their math program which aligns closer to our state standards and expectations. This is new to the school this year and wonder if the research refers to the updated version. When my student started Doral, I was able to go in and see how my child was learning, this really helped me understand why she wasn’t doing math how we were taught. That was the hardest part. Our child now has a love for math that she didn’t have before because she understands how to think about math.
Doral Academy has wonderful potential for educating our children. The sad truth is that they use the highly controversial math curriculum known as TERC/Investigations Math. If anyone has questions about this math program, refer to the documentary, "Waiting for Superman", where an elementary school child shows how she attempts to solve an addition problem using the same Investigations Math Curriculum that Doral uses ( a clip from this documentary can be found at susanmidlarsky.com/tercinvestigations ). There are also several high quality research studies, with level A evidence demonstrating that the TERC Investigations math program has poor outcome levels as compared to many other math programs. If you have a student at Doral, please investigate this math curriculum and work hard to get it changed for your child.
I love what my child is learning through the arts integration curriculum. I like that she has specials like media in addition to PE and art. Her teacher is always communicating with us. The special events that the school and parents organize together foster a great sense of community. My child was sad to leave the school she had been at since Kindergarten and it took a little while, but now she wants to stay at Doral as long as they'll let her.
I have had a very positive experience with all of the teachers my child interacts with. I also noticed that she is always referring to what they have taught her or what they have said during everyday conversation.
Curriculum is only so so. They do not push the students to achieve. They are more concerned with continued funding instead of educating children. While the teachers are generally very nice that doesn't equate to student learning. Recently I found that one of the teachers called my son a loser in front of the entire class and actually printed it on a handout I gave to the administration and nothing has been done about this. The administration would rather sweep issues under the carpet rather than address them.
The math teachers employee a 'three before me' method in math. So if a student doesn't understand they have to go to three other students before speaking with the teacher. If the student is shy or embarrassed going to three other students is not helpful.