I watched the discussion of Every Day Math consumables from the May 20 board meeting last night, and I saw mostly good news.
Yes, a half a million bucks a year in K-5 consumables strikes me like plank in the face - but there are two things to consider about this:
First, as Ms delaFuente reported, there are annual consumables - presumably with similar costs - for the two material sets that the OSPI recommmends (she will follow up with more information after making further investigations). So while this price seems stiff, it may just be what these things cost.
Second, it isn't really a half a million dollars a year. The consumables for years 1 and 2 came with the original purchase. This is for year three. We will also pay for year 4, but years 5 and 6 will be free. So the actual price is not $500,000 per year, but $1,000,000 for years one through six, or, on average, more like $170,000 per year.
That's something of a relief, but the best news wasn't either of these two items. The best news was the Board discussion in which there was a lot of attention in three areas that could use it:
1. I heard Board members ask if the Singapore materials getting used and ask if they are being used as they should be used. Board members are suddenly making vague noises about accountability around this.
2. I heard Board members ask if it wouldn't be cheaper for us to just switch to Singapore?
3. I heard Board member seriously question whether we will stay with Every Day Math for another three years.
There was also some frustrating talk. Everyone seemed to back away from the EDM adoption saying "I wasn't here when this decision was made and I don't know what they intended or were thinking at the time." The lack of institutional memory is a real handicap. Unfortunately, the meeting at which the Board adopted these materials was conducted in secret and was not recorded. My, how that has boomeranged. Directors DeBell, Bass and Chow WERE at those meetings. They should know what they were told at the time and what the Board's intentions were. I don't think they do.
Maybe they should review their email from Dan Dempsey from that period. I'm sure it is full of references.