Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The "New" New Math

This column was in today's Times. Bruce Ramsey was writing about a meeting that State Superintendent Terry Bergeson had with people from the Where's the Math group. It sounds like Dr. Bergeson has heard, loud and clear, from parents but, after reading the column, I have to wonder what will happen if math is taught in multiple ways. Is that harder for the teacher? Confusing for the students?

This is an issue that will likely not affect my child but I know many out there have deep concerns over it.

31 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Mr. Ramsey's article only begins to scratch the surface of OSPI's academic fraud and fiscal malfeasance of the last decade.

IOWA test scores were largely flat from 1999-2005 while WASL scores in reading steadily rose. Math was a similar picture.

Huge amounts of money have been spent by OSPI with negative results in math as measured by college placement tests.

Here is a Where's the Math?
editorial -- sorry I've not yet perfected link posting on this blog.

---------------------------
OSPI Pays $770K to Keep Math Status Quo
By editor

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson hired the Dana Center of Austin, Texas to oversee the revision of Washington State math standards at a cost to taxpayers of $770K, plus undetermined expenses. The Dana Center proposal was nearly six times as expensive as a competing bid from a highly qualified firm. A careful examination of the first draft of the resulting revised WA math standards, released December 4, reveals that OSPI has poorly used public funds, producing a new framework that will do little to raise Washington State’s math to world-class standards.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was directed by lawmakers to improve math standards as per House Bill 1906, passed in the 2007 legislative session. The State Board of Education (SBE) hired a consultant and formed a Math Advisory Panel to review existing standards and make recommendations for improvements. The consultant, Strategic Teaching of Millersville, MD, issued a final report on August 30, 2007. Current WA standards were compared to those of states and nations considered to have the best, including California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland, and were found to be lacking in content, rigor, focus and clarity. The Strategic Teaching report specifically recommended that Washington State model its standards after those exemplary states and nations, as well as the NCTM Focal Points. The Math Advisory Panel endorsed the report, and SBE adopted it on September 19, 2007.

House Bill 1906 specifies that the SBE recommendations must be followed by OSPI in revising WA standards. OSPI formed a standards revision team stacked with supporters of reform math, including some with little math background. The result of the combined efforts of the standards team and the Dana Center is a draft far below the world-class levels recommended by the SBE and required by HB1906. Vague language and a lack of commitment to mathematical rigor indicate a consistent effort to preserve the methodologies of reform math. For example, the recommendation to strengthen computational fluency has been ignored. Strategy seeking and verbal explanation remain dominant methods of problem solving, rather than using and mastering standard algorithms.

Bill Hook, a research scientist who led a five year study comparing curricula in California said, “The SBE Report clearly sets out a number of exemplary math standards for the use of the standards re-write team. But it would appear that the Dana Center has created their own versions of the individual math standards in order to promote the use of their favorite textbooks, such as Everyday Math, TERC, etc. A simple cut and paste of existing exemplary standards would have produced a far better result, and would have followed the SBE report recommendations.”

According to Dr. Chris Carlson, member of the LWSD Board and State Math Advisory Panel, “One of the keys to defusing the math wars is to make our standards pedagogically neutral. That is…standards pertain to the content that students should master at each grade level, not how the content should be taught. The first draft of the revised K-5 standards has a long way to go in meeting this goal.”

OSPI requested bids from companies to help draft the new standards. One of the unsuccessful bidders was StandardsWork, an organization that helped rewrite the California and Indiana standards, considered exemplary by the SBE report. The StandardsWork bid to rewrite WA math standards was $130,000. However, Bergeson selected the Dana Center, whose bid of $770,000 was nearly six times that of StandardsWork. Additionally, OSPI is paying an undisclosed amount for additional expenses.

The Dana Center has supported the adoption of reform math curricula in other states, including TERC/Investigations, Connected Math, and Everyday Math. Dr. Uri Treisman, Director of the Dana Center and leader of the WA revision team, served on the advisory board for Connected Math. Dr. Susan Hull, another Dana Center leader of the WA revision team, was on the advisory board for Connected Math 2. Treisman was also influential in the adoption of Everyday Math in Texas and New York City.

OSPI has been entrusted with solving a problem they created through the imposition of reform math standards and curricula on Washington State. For years they have ignored protests of parents and teachers, as well as declining math performance of students. Now Terry Bergeson and colleagues at OSPI are undermining the intent of HB 1906. By selecting the Dana Center, a like-minded contractor, OSPI appears determined to further a reform math agenda at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers. But the bigger cost will be paid by our children, whose math education will remain inferior to their peers in other states and nations. The public has until the end of December to voice their concerns to their state representatives and the State Board of Education. The draft of standards revisions and related information can be accessed at OSPI’s Project Website

mmcl said...

It is impossible to exaggerate the crisis in K12 math education. As a Seattle math substitute, I constantly encounter 4-12th grade students who can't do simple addition and subtraction without a calculator, nor remember the multiplication facts essential for solving the simplest algebra problems.

Martha McLaren

APP Dad said...

Changing the standards to allow different ways of teaching math is a step up from mandating different ways of teaching math -- presumably, teachers will no longer need to teach their students how to solve math problems by drawing pictures, unless this is indeed appropriate. Good teachers will exercise good judgement, and some poor teachers may get swept along by pressure from parents and the desire to improve math scores in their kids.

Too bad there isn't a similar emphasis on WASL reform. My son recently applied for a California-based math program and had to take separate testing because the WASL score is not accepted by them. The WASL seems to be the laughing stock of the math world.

--APP Dad

It is always funny how the education experts push Reform Math so hard, at the same time that both Seattle and overall USA math skills are dismal. In most fields, people learn by looking at people who are doing a good job and copying them; in math instruction, we ignore the Germans, Finns, and Singaporeans because we know better.

Anonymous said...

The standards have been re-written to push more of the same.

The report below confirms what my gut feeling is in my 4th year of teaching math in this area --

Washington Assessment of Student Learning: Tenth-Grade WASL Results in Spring 2006: Association Between Poverty and WASL Performance by Race/Ethnicity

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/pub.asp?docid=07-01-2205

Aside from the 100's of high schoolers I've taught who are far, far, far behind kids in affluent schools,

this failed system REALLY fails for those without the money to fix the failures of the system.

Bob Murphy

dan dempsey said...

Dear APP dad at 3:52,

The WASL is little more than a very expensive public relations tool for OSPI.

Great WASL reform will happen should Dr. Rich Semler become the next State Supt. of Public Instruction. Just imagine what an educator rather than a politician could do in that position.

Dr. Semler has been an opponent of the WASL in its current form.
He has advocated consitently for the MAP test. This test has been used for several years in Highline SD.

dan dempsey said...

http://www.tableausoftware.com/
blog/comparing-standardized-math-tests

Check the above for a good look at
WASL & ITBS test data over a six-year period.

Anonymous said...

No offense Dan, but even if Semler were to become State Supt. of Public Instruction, how much could he do in regards to the WASL? Only the legislature has the power to eliminate the WASL.

dan dempsey said...

Dear Anon at 10:32,

Dr Semler's Richland School District was involved with 6 other school districts in piloting the MAP test as a replacement for the current WASL. He spoke before the legislature on this last spring.

Dr Bergeson was contacted by the Feds to submit the MAP results for a peer review by the Feds. This was the next step in having the MAP be a possible replacement for the WASL for AYP.

Dr Bergeson never submitted the MAP to the Feds for peer review. Thus we continue to be stuck with an expensive fairly useless supposed evaluation instrument that has become so disconnected from reality its only purpose appears to be as a public relations tool for OSPI.

Dr Bergeson stood before the Seattle School Board recently and said: WA has a 70% participation rate on the SAT. Reality is that it is only 53%

She also told the board that WA NAEP math scores are near the top.
Reality is that at NEAP grade 4 Math the results show that for Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, American Indians, & Asians. Not a single one of those subgroups scores above the national average for their subgroup.

The education rate of Washington residents ranks in the top 15 nationally. So in math our 4th graders score at or below average depending on which subgroup you look at.

Internationally the US is close to the top in literacy (declining slightly recently). By comparison in Math the US is pathetic and getting worse.

Dr Bergeson told the Seattle School Board everything they wanted to hear --- except the truth.

Dr. Semler is an educational leader. He has not previously run for political office. He also does not continually try to deceive the public with distortions and out right lies.

Dr. Semler has undergrad degrees in Chemistry and Zoology. He was at Vashon and an Asst. Supt at Issaquah. He has been in Richland as Supt. the last 10 years. Richland School Board just received school board of the year from WASDA for districts above 5000 students.

Plenty will change for the better if Dr Bergeson is removed and Richard Semler is the person to replace her.

jpr said...

dan; you wrote
She also told the board that WA NAEP math scores are near the top.
Reality is that at NEAP grade 4 Math the results show that for Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, American Indians, & Asians. Not a single one of those subgroups scores above the national average for their subgroup

can you point me to the stats on the NEAP website, its hard to read their charts

dan dempsey said...

Dear jpr,

you want
# Download, view and print part 2 of the report as a pdf file. PDF File (500KB)

Look at table 7 on page 11 of 16 pages.

you will see the following with
Nation at the top and Washington
far below (alpha order)for grade 4 NAEP math:

these results can be found

group - Nation - WA - differential

White......- 248 - 248 ... +0
Black......- 222 - 222 ... +0
Hispanic...- 227 - 225 ... -2
Asian......- 254 - 250 ... -4
Am. Indian.- 229 - 227 ... -2

Dr Bergeson stated at the SPS board meeting that we are great on NAEP--
this sure looks like slightly below average to me (but then I am not running for re-election in 2008, with then 12 years of expensive chaos to hide).

NAEP used 130 elementary schools and 3800 kids tested for grade 4 out of about 75,000 grade 4 students in the state.

At grade 8 the scores were better.
I have great concerns about the selection process at grade 8 for students tested.
Again 130 schools were used but only 2800 kids tested out of about 75,000.

As most middle schools have greater population than elementary schools and yet have usually only 3 grades, why were 1000 fewer 8th graders tested than 4th graders?

It is interesting that in International testing the US is near the top in Literacy (but declining slightly recently)
in Math the US is pathetic (and still declining) and yet NAEP scores are rising.

I know the WASL is a public relations tool that shows rising scores with little connection to any rising skills. Could NAEP be similar?

jpr said...

Dan,
thanks i will have a look

jpr said...

Dan,

Yes those are the scores for the various subgroups, but, as a whole the 4th graders performed better than average (not below average) against the national Average. Of course they could be doing better, I researched the data on the NEAP site found that Washington 4 graders performed much better than they did in the 1996 testing period. So the trend is up and that should be noted here, although in the more recent periods the trend is pretty stable. Should the State Super be tooting the horn for the 4th graders, not really, especially if you look at the last couple of testing periods.
Could the NEAP tested more kids, of course, but NEAP makes up the test group which you and I don’t have control over. I would be interested in finding out how the students from Seattle did, not certain if the site has that much granularity in the report.

Anonymous said...

"Yes those are the scores for the various subgroups, but, as a whole the 4th graders performed better than average (not below average) against the national Average."

Since no subgroup performed better than its national equivalent, and some performed worse, the only thing I can think of that would make the group as a whole score higher is that the relative proportions of subgroups in Washington are different from those in the nation as a whole.

Helen Schinske

dan dempsey said...

The two highest scoring subgroups are Whites and Asians. This is true both
Nationally at 248 & 252
and in WA at 248 & 250.

The reason that as a state WA is above the national NAEP grade 4 Math average is because WA has significantly larger populations of Whites and Asians.

This is almost the classical example of Simpson's Paradox.

WA ranks in the top 15 states in terms of education level of adults. This is in part due to Hi Tech employers bringing in well educated workers and often their children. The fact we are below average in Math is again confirmation of the obvious -- OSPI is running a misguided math show and not providing needed leadership in math.

The SBE after hiring a great consultant that did a nice job of making recommendations, had to turn the recommendations over to Dr Bergeson for the Math Standards rewrite (per HB 1906).

Dr. Bergeson has once again stacked the deck. (in the selection of rewrite team members as well as the consultant hiring).

Our current standards would rate a 1 on a 1 to 10 scale. We are now in the process of spending well over $750,000 when auxiliary expenses are included to get perhaps a 3 out of 10.

We still have state math leadership that fails to acknowledge their continuing failure in producing this ongoing disaster.

Google Project Follow Through to begin understanding what works.

The real disaster can be measured at the University and Community College level upon entrance, as well as looking at the decline in arithmetic competence k-12.

dan dempsey said...

The NAEP scores in Math have been very gradually continually rising. The PISA math test is considered more reform math oriented than the TIMSS.

The USA continues to lose ground on the PISA math test of 15 - year olds.
-----------------------------
Washington, DC, December 4, 2007 – The results of the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA) were released this morning by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), showing that 15-year-old students in the U.S. continue to perform, in science and mathematics, at levels that demonstrate conclusively that far too many are unprepared for the global economy.

The bottom line of the 2006 results is this: In relative terms, the U.S. ranked 25th among the 30 OECD member countries in mathematics, down from 23rd of 29 in the 2003 test, and 21st of 30 in science this year, dropping from 19th in 2003. That places the 15-year-olds in the United States below the OECD member country average in both subjects, not because students are scoring at lower levels on the tests, but because other countries, including Croatia, Estonia, and Azerbaijan are moving higher.

American policies following World War II promoted and supported participation in secondary and higher education; as a result, the United States currently has the largest supply of high-level skills in its adult labor force of any country in the world. But other countries are rapidly catching up to or overtaking us, as they focus on improving their educational systems. OECD data from 2003 ranks the U.S. as 19th in high school graduation rates, below the OECD average. Other countries are sending larger proportions of their students to college, while the U.S.’ rate of students who do not complete a degree is growing. Vivien Stewart of the Asia Society notes, “As these latest PISA results show, the global talent pool is increasing. We urgently need to develop a globally oriented world-class educational system to prepare students in the U.S. with the knowledge and skills to succeed.”

Putting it another way, the National Governors Association’s Raymond C. Scheppach points out that “Our students’ performance today is the best indicator of America’s global competitiveness tomorrow. The United States faces emerging challenges across the international marketplace. The countries that thrive in this new global, entrepreneurial, and knowledge-based economy will be those that have the most highly skilled and educated workforce.”

The Alliance for Excellent Education, Asia Society, Business Roundtable, Council of Chief State School Officers, ED in ’08, and the National Governors Association joined to co-host a briefing on the PISA results to provide a unique opportunity for media, policymakers, educators, the business community, and other concerned citizens to join an important discussion focused on improving the performance of U.S. students. Gene Wilhoit of the Council of Chief State School Officers explains that “The release of the 2006 PISA results is an important and worthwhile event. It provides all of us a unique opportunity to benchmark student learning in the United States with that of emerging and high performing countries, to learn from the progress of other nations, and to renew our commitment and search for ways to improve educational opportunity for all of our students.”

Even the highest achieving U.S. students on the 2006 assessment were either at or below the OECD average. Nine percent of students in the U.S. tested in the top two levels of achievement in science (the OECD average) and almost 8 percent were at those levels in math (below the OECD average of over 13 percent). These higher achievers are the most likely candidates to pursue careers in the fields of science or mathematics.

However, almost a quarter of the U.S. students tested demonstrated very low proficiency in science, and 28 percent scored at below the minimum math level for citizens’ to be able to participate fully in society and the labor market. In both subjects, the U.S. has a far greater percentage of students at these very low proficiency levels than is the average for OECD member countries as a whole.

Business Roundtable President John J. Castellani, learning of the numbers of students in the lowest performance levels, and noting that about two-thirds of students in this country fall into the middle rankings in science and math, questions the lack of outrage that accompanies these test results: “It is difficult to understand why mediocre achievement by U.S. teenagers on international math and science assessments produces less concern and outcry than mediocre performance by a football or basketball team. There is worldwide competition for people with strong backgrounds in math and science who have the analytic and problem-solving skills needed to create tomorrow’s innovations. We need to take a serious look at what the U.S. can learn from the education systems that routinely pass us by.”

PISA is administered triennially to 15-year-olds in participating countries and economies through OECD, and it relies on the leading experts in participating countries to develop valid comparisons across countries and cultures. In 2006, 57 countries, making up close to 90 percent of the world economy, participated in the assessment. Many of those countries, although not the U.S., implement PISA both at national and state or regional levels, to provide more information to policymakers that will assist them in making better-informed decisions about ways to improve student achievement.

Roy Romer, former governor of Colorado and superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, now chairman of ED in ’08, knows the importance of high-level leadership to improving the educational outcomes for students. “These results reaffirm that America’s education system is in crisis and that there are lasting implications for our children, who are unprepared to enter an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” he says. “They underscore the need for the presidential candidates to show bold leadership, free from ideological constraints and the influence of special interests, to bring America out of this crisis back to a level competitive with top-performing countries.”

Former governor and congressman from West Virginia, Bob Wise, looks to policymakers and the public for many of the changes that must be made if America is to maintain its strong global and economic position. “The message from this international report for the U.S. Congress and every state official is that much of the world is improving education much faster than we are. Being internationally mediocre in the Olympics means only a loss of national pride; mediocre in PISA forecasts a loss of skilled jobs for U.S. citizens. These results should arouse the public and all elected leaders to learn PISA’s lessons – all students must be given a true world class education where they graduate from high school truly prepared for college or the modern workplace. The current congressional deliberations about renewing No Child Left Behind must be the first – but not last – step to improve these international rankings.”

dan dempsey said...

PISA math results by levels
percent scoring at each level 2006
for Canada above and USA below.
Highest scoring Finland is in the middle and italicized.

L0----L1---L2----L3----L4----L5----L6
2.8---8.0--18.6--27.5--25.1--13.6--4.4

1.1---4.8--14.4--27.2--28.1--18.1--6.3

9.9--18.2--26.1--23.1--15.1---6.4--1.3

Differentials US minus Canada
at each level

below level 1...+7.1
level 1........+10.2
level 2.........+7.5
level 3.........-4.4
level 4........-10.0
level 5.........-7.2
level 6.........-3.1

The US has a significantly higher percent of 15 year olds scoring at lower levels than Canada.
The US has a significantly lower percent of 15 year olds scoring at higher performance levels than Canada.

dan dempsey said...

PISA math scores
2003 followed by 2006 and change
Taipei...............549
Finland.......544...548...+4
S. Korea......542...547...+5
Japan.........534...523..-11
Canada.......533...527...-6
Australia.....524...520...-4
New Zealand.524...522...-2
France........511...496..-15
Germany.....503...504...+1
Spain.........485...480...-5
USA...........483...474...-9

Anonymous said...

USA educates everyone. These other countries don't. To a one, they track people very young. Don't you every tire of this "we suck" attitude? (If they educated everyone, they'd suck too.)

dan dempsey said...

Dear Anon at 11:37,

Put up some numbers please.
Care to put up graduation rate statistics for industrialized developed countries?

I'll be watching.

PISA is a scientifically selected random sample of all 15 year olds in school in a nation.

USA math scores significantly lower than every other English speaking country tested. USA's drop of 9 points from 2003 to 2006 was assessed to be statistically significant.

If you think the Canada data listed is only far superior to the US because of who is in school and who is out, back it up.

Or better yet read the Alberta math standards and look at their books.

Here are some more numbers for you to explain:

PISA math scores
2003 followed by 2006 and change
Taipei...................549
Finland.........544...548...+4
S. Korea.......542...547...+5
Japan...........534...523..-11
Canada.........533...527...-6
Australia.......524...520...-4
New Zealand...524...522...-2
France..........511...496..-15
Germany........503...504...+1
United Kingdom.495...495
Spain............485...480...-5
USA..............483...474...-9

English speaking countries listed in BOLD.
USA 2006 a score of 474

Try a google on PISA 2006
or write me and I'll send you links so you can do research.
I'll send you a spread sheet to look at if you just want a quick view rather than do more work than that.
dempsey_dan@yahoo.com
or
www.pisa.oecd.org/

I get tired of comments that are vague untrue and unsupported,(commonly from folks without even a screen name)
like yours:

USA educates everyone. These other countries don't.
I am sure the Canadians will love hearing this.

To a one, they track people very young.
Only if grade 7 is considered very young.

Don't you every tire of this "we suck" attitude? (If they educated everyone, they'd suck too.)
Really how about some proof you can start with Canada.

In particular how about using the province of Alberta. Compare it with the best state you can find in the US for math results. (hint: try Massachusetts)

Massachusetts is paying the dollars to be evaluated just like an independent nation in the next round of TIMSS testing.

Seems that a few folks only notice they are being drown in a flood when the water reaches their nostrils.

You seem to like more of the same.
Be sure to write your legislator in support of the Bergeson-Dana Center standards which will change little in WA math as we can then continue our confused expensive ineffective programs that enrich publishers and consultants and bureaucrats while intellectually impoverishing our children.

dan dempsey said...

Not math but PISA Science:

In the Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA) 2006, while the United States performs below-average overall, it has an average level of top performers. 1.5% of 15-year-olds in the United States reach Level 6 (the highest level) on the science scale.

More from PISA in regard to Anon at 11:37 unfounded assertion about tracking or streaming at an early age.

In Australia, Canada, Finland, Japan and New Zealand, at least one in seven students reached the top two levels of scientific literacy. In Greece, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, by contrast, the proportion was lower than one in 20. On average across the OECD, students in private schools outperformed students in public schools in most countries. The picture changed, however, when the socio-economic background of students and schools was taken into account, with public schools taking the lead.

Streaming at an early age tends to increase the impact of socio-economic background on student performance, PISA 2006 indicates. The earlier students were stratified into separate institutions or programmes, the stronger was the impact which the school’s average socio-economic background had on performance. Schools that divided students by ability for all subjects tended to have lower student performance on average.


So Anon 11:37 if your statements have any validity. Please explain why over-all US science performance rates below average, when our following of not tracking at an early age seems to be something that contributes to better achievement in most other countries.

You said:
"To a one, they track people very young."
Well perhaps that may not be true.

Do you think that perhaps our extreme focus on exploration and inquiry that has gained even wider use in current years could possibly be responsible for our poor performance?

Despite what you may believe, I strongly suggest that it is the poor curricula in use and the poor practices that accompany these curricula that produce the very poor international showing for the USA students in math and science.

For those who agree with me about our poor math curricula recommended by OSPI please contact your legislators now or during the Jan - Feb legislative session.

It is time to end Dr. Bergeson's domination of our states educational system.

The new Bergeson-Dana Center Math Standards being drafted are only a tiny revision of the flawed nonsense promoted by our resident chief snake-oil sales person.

The PISA 2006 Science scores:
Finland 574
Canada 530
New Zealand 528
Japan 526
United Kingdom 525
Czech Republic 525
Germany 524
Austria 522
Australia 522
Switzerland 512
Sweden 512
Netherlands 509
Hungary 509
Poland 509
Ireland 506
Denmark 505
Belgium 502
Slovak Republic 500
Luxembourg 499
Korea 498
Spain 498
Norway 496
France 490
Italy 488
United States 487
Iceland 481
Portugal 475
Greece 475
Turkey 425
Mexico 402
OECD
OECD total 490
OECD average 502
Partners
Hong Kong-China 558
Chinese Taipei 549
Estonia 540
Macao-China 525
Liechtenstein 524
Slovenia 517
Lithuania 503
Croatia 498
Russian Federation 490
Latvia 481
Israel 458
Jordan 450
Serbia 449
Bulgaria 445
Chile 434
Uruguay 433
Thailand 432
Montenegro 430
Romania 426
Brazil 403
Azerbaijan 398
Tunisia 392
Argentina 391
Indonesia 391
Colombia 384
Qatar 361
Kyrgyzstan 330

Look at all the nations the USA is out performing.
Check out the economic powerhouses that can be found in this group of all 23 nations the USA out performed in PISA Science 2006 :

Iceland, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Latvia, Israel, Jordan, Serbia, Bulgaria, Chile, Uruguay, Thailand, Montenegro, Romania, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Argentina, Indonesia, Colombia, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan


The world is flat. When the water reaches our nostrils it may be too late unless Noah is our next door neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Math Problem of the Day. If $769,000 to $1.5 million improves your math standards from an F to a D-, how much will the improvements cost to get them to a B+ rating, an A-, or an A? Can you use mental math to answer this question without having any fundamental math skills? Can you use quick recall to determine which calculator buttons to push?

dan dempsey said...

I believe we could move from F to close to A for the price of shipping for a small package from Alberta, Canada.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line - If you happen to be Hispanic or African American or have difficulty reading - you stand little chance of going to college if you attend public school in Washington. When the only way that an AP Senior can solve an algebra problem is with substitution, then you clearly have a problem that extends beyond the regular classroom. Its worse then you can imagine because your leaders will never admit what is really happening in school. That's the way math is taught in Washington. A minority has less than a 10% chance of finishing at the school where they started. Bergerson and her staff should resign. Replace the textbooks with Singapore math and start using Singapore Standards. Stop taking money away from education to line the fat pockets of textbook publishers and their supporters, truly the biggest group of race haters. The research that has been done is fraudulent. WASL results exaggerate achievement - kids need more than an eighth grade education. You should impeach Bergeson and throw out the consultants from the Charles Dana Center. New York no longer recommends its schools use Everyday Math. Don't you think its about time the public started caring about schools?

Anonymous said...

Creating three tracks with different curriculum in every Washington school will not work. It has never worked and Bergeson knows this.

Seattle's own math implementation is a complete waste of time. It is also expensive. Bergeson and her group of supporters knew this all the time.

Tacoma's attempt to use Saxon books was a failure for the same reason. Poor implementation.

Your state needs to adopt a world standard and stop making excuses. Partnership for Learning, Charles Dana Center, New Horizons for Learning are private interest groups that are no friend of public education. They are Lazarroni charlatans, a group of racial purists. They have absolutely no business teaching minorities. They need to keep their religion out of public education and go back to breeding horses and dogs.

One world class standard and one textbook that children will respect and parents would be forever grateful. It is a farse when schools are afraid to give kids books to take home for fear they'll not be returned or damaged. Its like trying to learn in a police state. No wonder people are so ignorant. They've stopped caring about schools - it doesn't mean anything to say you graduated from high school. People have stopped caring and moved on to doing something else. Bergeson is a horse's behind.

Anonymous said...

Seattle City Schools will become the next Denver City Schools - one of the worst school systems in the US. Look at the people running your school system. They are following a blue print for creating chaos and its intentional - so they can privatize the school system, because its more opportunity for their friends to make money off of hard working people. The leaders that were chosen to protect school are entertaining you while they rip you off. Its your party and they're having a ball and they won't stop until you start putting them in jail. The school system especially in Washington is absolutely corrupt. Kids don't stand a chance. Bergeson and OSPI - Warfield and Nelson should be ashamed of what they've done to make Washington so backward. Its their religion - race hating.

C.R. Hoff said...

For the past 50 years there has been the "thought" that we could "discover" a "silver bullet" that would allow all kids to master mathematics either by "discovery" or by some other method than simple mastery of the "boring" facts that mathematics is based upon.

The results are not encouraging but there are still educators that believe that the "cure will be found" and meantime resorting to drill for skill just isn't acceptable.
In those countries that we used to consider "3rd world", but are now overtaking us, there has been little credulance given to this and the results of "traditional math" have been most encouraging.
Here, as evidenced by the billion dollars spent in this state on mastery of the WASL things haven't been encouraging.

Two quotes by leaders in the world of education seem to be dismissed.

First:
From KIPP's founders, a series of schools that does very well with all of the kids that shouldn't do well, "there are no shortcuts".

Second:
From Robertson Davies, a well know author "Education is hard work, not play, and its rewards are a seriously informed, wide ranging attitude towards real life, and the
beginning of a great adventure.
"

The "easy path" just hasn't been found and there isn't an "upgrade" in humans. Unlike computers a new "version" just isn't to be found!

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 11:43 AM said:
...Tacoma's attempt to use Saxon books was a failure for the same reason. Poor implementation.

I disagree. First of all the Saxon adoption for 2006-2007 returned much more improvement than what took place in Seattle K-8.

The fact that Saxon can not be successfully implemented at the high school level, when the children in high school have extremely poor arithmetic skills could have been easily predicted by anyone with much experience or knowledge of the situation.

The fact that the lowest grade level tested on the WASL math is grade three and Tacoma showed a very large gain in third grade scores is very encouraging.

I was surprised that in its first year Saxon showed some success at the middle school level. I would assume that not all students were working in grade level equivalent books as low skills likely necessitated starting in below grade level material for many students. It should be noted that there was no improvement in grade 8 as percent passing remained about 14% below the State.

It will be interesting to see what Spring 2008 testing shows given that it will be the second year of Saxon.

Saxon can certainly not be deemed a failure in Tacoma at this point.

I have no idea if these gains are attributable to the Saxon curriculum or not. From Wayne Bishop, William and John Hook study in California I would think it was the curriculum.

I have no idea what other changes were put in place. Better tutorial support, Longer math classes etc. can also influence outcomes.

What I do know is Seattle has been making changes in addition to the Connected Math Project adoption at the middle level and there has been some improvement - This would be expected from the interventions employed and likely might have been greater with a better curriculum than CMP2.

The Everyday Math - Connected Math combination is failing in Denver and elsewhere in Colorado, so Ms. Santorno puts it in place in Seattle. Go figure that one.

Tattatu said...

The US does not educate everyone...

Research on the exemplary curriculum is a massive fraud perpetrated by professors at MSU, U. of Chicago, and others. Lazzaronni. Blame Project 2061 and the NSF. Treissman et al is getting royalties for every textbook sold. Conservative republicans got rich selling textbooks. Before you write standards for school, you should have standards for research. The US will regret not educating its children.

Binary multiplication and partial quotients - that's what the majority of students are learning. They won't get past eighth grade. Bergeson should do what's right and resign.

Anonymous said...

The average turnover of ninth graders is 1 out of 8 transfer schools before the year is out. At my school it was twice that. There was a 30% dropout rate. This is outrageous. Sheer quackery - professors have no morals or standards. If you had professional standards for education research, you wouldn't just be producing red kak. Racists is what you are. Take a lesson from other countries and start educating kids stead of pissin them off.

Anonymous said...

The board rejected the third-grade edition of Texas Everyday Mathematics in a 7-6 vote in November because some members didn't like the book's approach to teaching fundamental skills – a concern that has been echoed by critics across the country who decry it as convoluted and lacking rigor.

"It was a huge decision," said Dr. McLeroy, of Bryan, who voted to reject it. "We have to be very wise as board members. It's shown the state Board of Education is very influential."

According to Dr. Chris Carlson, member of the LWSD Board and State Math Advisory Panel, “One of the keys to defusing the math wars is to make our standards pedagogically neutral. That is…standards pertain to the content that students should master at each grade level, not how the content should be taught. The first draft of the revised K-5 standards has a long way to go in meeting this goal.”


Dr. Carlson, sits on the Math Advisory panel and he's from LWSD. Seems he should look and see whether his own district is actually using Connected Math - grades 6, 7, and 8. Its not possible. Odds are the majority of teachers are using traditional textbooks or supplementing it with Dale Seymour.

This is a big hoax and if the state was interested in exposing it, they would order an investigation into OSPI's misconduct. How long will kids be forced to use textbooks that are so awful that schools won't let them take the textbooks home for fear of losing them or having pages torn out.

Students and parents have a right to be angry, in Hobbes's words - "No social contract can exist between people and tyrants."

Anonymous said...

Bergerson's estimate of the pass rate on the WASL 70% was incorrect, she meant to say it was the "ontime" high school graduation rate. Get real Washington. How could Bergerson have done so much harm to one organization? Blame her supporters. Its more than water that rains in Washington, its textbooks. The question remains will Washington be the last state to realize they've been duped?