The parent pointed out that in the working world, employers would far prefer to hire someone who knows the math and can think over someone who communicates well, but doesn't really understand the math. (The research would suggest otherwise, but I could see I wasn't going to convert this parent, so I suggested that maybe it depended on the job, and that perhaps we'd just have to agree to disagree on that point, and then wisely held my tongue on the subject.)
They went on to challenge my assessment methods (I use triangulation of data based on observations, conversations and products), claiming that there were "no conversations in Grade 11 and 12".
I was not disappointed!
There, in the front matter of the Gade 11 and 12 document, was a whole section on the Mathematical Processes:
"The mathematical processes are as follows:
...the mathematical processes are interconnected. (bold mine) Problem solving and communicating have strong links to all the other processes. The problem-solving process can be thought of as the motor that drives the development of the other processes. It allows students to make conjectures and to reason as they pursue a solution or a new understanding.
Problem solving provides students with the opportunity to make connections to their prior learning and to make decisions about the representations, tools, and computational strategies needed to solve the problem. "
"Teachers should encourage students to justify their solutions, communicate them orally and in writing, and reflect on alternative solutions."
(Ontario Math Curriculum, Grades 11 & 12, Page 18)
Most fascinating to me was the section on evaluation, which states that while 70% of the final mark must be based on work gathered through the term,
"Thirty per cent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation in the form of an examination, performance, essay, and/or other method of evaluation suitable to the course content and administered towards the end of the course."
Satisfied, I closed the high school curriculum document, and returned to the world of Grade 7 & 8 where I will continue to encourage and support my diverse range of students in communicating their mathematical thinking by teaching and assessing in a wide variety of ways.