Westport, Conn., teachers were frustrated at having to rush through the algebra curriculum only to find students didn’t grasp important concepts, so they created their own online program, reports the New York Times. Last year, they began replacing 1,000-plus-page math textbooks with their own custom-designed online curriculum; the lessons are typically written in Westport and then sent to a program in India, called HeyMath!, to jazz up the algorithms and problem sets with animation and sounds. “In America, we run through chapters like a speeding train,” said John Dodig, the principal of the 1,728-student Staples High School in Westport. “Schools in Singapore and India spend more time on each topic, and their kids do better. We’re boiling down math to the essentials.” Westport’s curriculum overhaul joins other recent critiques of mile-wide, inch-deep instruction in the long-running math wars within American education. Westport school officials say their less-is-more approach has already resulted in less review in math classes, higher standardized test scores, and more students taking advanced math classes…

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