Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

Coming up on Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the MAP test boycott.  

It's also the day that SEE (Social Equality Educators) are introducing their "Respect' slate of candidates to challenge the current SEA leadership.  They are having a forum on Thursday at Garfield Community Center.   Lead by Jesse Hagopian, a Garfield teacher who was named "Secondary School Teacher of the Year" by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences, the group has a mix of current SEA Board of director members and award-winning and/or veteran educators.

The event starts at 4:30 pm and City Council member Kshama Sawant is scheduled to make an appearance.

What's on your mind?

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who else is on the union slate? And who will they run against within the union? Or are they it? If "more activist" and "less activist" groups emerge it will be interesting to see who the teachers as a whole go for. Sort of like the Boeing union thing. The different tones could lead our district down very different paths (if there are even 2 different slates).

SavvyVoter

Anonymous said...

Can someone provide an update on the Math Curriculum Adoption Committee work? why the ongoing delay in announcing the top three curriculum choices?

-FedMomof2

Karen said...

I only have a 4th grader, but I am curious how middle school works. I am wondering about sports, honors classes at Whitman if we drop out of the APP MS mess, etc., but mainly curious about sports. Do kids try out for teams? Is it really competitive? If a kid hasn't played for years, are they not likely to get on a team? I am interested in this topic since my kid goes to Lincoln and will be switched (schools) at least once if not twice. I think being on a sports team will help that transition. My question is mainly trying to answer how much exposure to how many activities we need to get now in order to fully participate in middle school extracurriculars.

Karen said...

To tack onto the above inquiry, what happens with the kids on teams at Hamilton and Eckstein that are getting sent to JAMS next year.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe the "less activist" members have become more activist since they are having to live with the contract they ratified. The media play and widespread support of the boycott (with rare exceptions like Charlie) probably took the "less activist" ones by shcck. Jesse Hagopian no longer seems like the mildly comic pamphleteer and speaker at meetings who was perpetually out of the union mainstream.

For too long, Seattle teachers didn't want to have to get their hands dirty. Arrogance has its limits when you learn you are nothing more than a working stiff.

--enough already

Patrick said...

In my child's 7th grade social studies, there aren't enough textbooks to go around. For in-class work, they share. When homework requires the textbook, the teacher makes photocopies and some kids get copies and others take the book.

Why doesn't the district buy enough books? Is that going to be typical as we go into the rest of middle school and high school?

I fear routine photocopying of parts of the book is going to get the District in trouble for copyright violations. "Educational use" is one factor in whether use of copyright material is fair use, but it's not the only factor, and routine use every semester to avoid buying enough books is not acceptable.

We bought two copies of the book, one for mom's house and one for my house, so our child doesn't have to carry it back and forth, and to save a copy for other kids. At the end of the year we'll donate them and there will be two more to go around. Are we going to need to do this most years?

Anonymous said...

Below is a letter that K-5 teachers at Pathfinder K-8 sent to the School Board & math adoption Committee last week. It was also sent to the Times, West Seattle Blog and this blog (I haven’t seen it posted so I decided to post it myself) in hope of getting the word out that many teachers have concerns about the math curricula up for review.

Dear School Board and Math Adoption Committee,

We strongly encourage the School Board and Math Adoption Committee to postpone the adoption of a new K-5 math curriculum.
After reviewing all the curricula under consideration it is clear that they are not adequate for preparing our students to meet the high standards of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM). The curricula materials that exist now have not been written with the depth of understanding required by the Common Core. These materials have been slightly adjusted from already existing curriculum and have had Common Core stamped on them. While none of the curricula under consideration are well-aligned with the new standards, there are curricula currently being developed specifically to address the Common Core in its entirety. We are losing the opportunity to look at these curricula by forcing a decision to be made this year.
The Common Core has raised the expectations for what our students need to understand and do in mathematics. CCSSM details quite specifically the content standards at each grade level; teachers and students deserve a curriculum that completely matches these standards. We need a curriculum that will support teachers in helping our students be successful. None of the curricula under consideration do these things.
The CCSSM leads with the Standards for Mathematical Practices – these are eight statements that describe the behaviors that students must engage with in order to be mathematically proficient. They include such behaviors as making meaning of non-routine problems, communicating thinking about mathematics, justifying reasoning and making generalizations. These challenging and complex behaviors cannot be adequately addressed with a curriculum that is primarily worksheet based, yet all the curricula currently up for review are just that.
The second aspect of CCSSM is rigor – a balance of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency and meaningful application in non-routine problems. In order for students to be successful on the upcoming Smarter Balance tests, they will need ample opportunities for all three forms of work. Again, none of the current curricula being reviewed provide for that depth of work.
We understand there is a sense of urgency to adopt a new K-5 math curriculum as the current one is not supporting students in meeting the CCSSM. Many of the current school board members rightly pledged to address this issue. However, we see a great danger in rushing into a new adoption when none of the materials that are currently being reviewed adequately support the new standards. Seattle elementary schools have lived with an inadequate curriculum for the last seven years, and it would be a disaster to adopt a curriculum that will not support our students in learning mathematics as described in the Common Core. It would be far better to wait another year if it means getting a curriculum that is truly aligned with the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics.

Sincerely,
Janet Osborn (1st grade teacher Pathfinder K-8), Missa Marmalstein (2/3 teacher Pathfinder K-8), Lisa DeBurle (2/3 teacher Pathfinder K-8), Jennifer Niemann (kindergarten teacher Pathfinder K-8), Andy Darring (4/5 teacher Pathfinder K-8) Shel Harris (K-2 self-contained Pathfinder K-8), Patrick Wildermann (2/3 teacher Pathfinder K-8), Genya Scharks (1st grade teacher Pathfinder K-8), Kelly Hower (Kindergarten teacher Pathfinder K-8), Ruth Balf (Mathematics Education Project University of Washington), Chris Lloyd (2/3 teacher Pathfinder K-8), Scott Rose (4/5 teacher Pathfinder K-8)

-Teacher

RosieReader said...

Patrick, Our schools are notoriously underfunded. Those of us that are lucky enough to be able to do so frequently do exactly what you describe. At Ingraham HS parents raised lots of money each year that is awarded to educators for grants for everything form graphing calculators (beyond the reach of many students), to supplemental classroom resources, to books for literature to a million more things, some essential, some supplemental. There are also active Atheltics and Performing Arts booster groups that raise funds for those targeted areas. And for some of us with kids in expensive clubs (Debate, Rocketry, Robotics) there's even more fundraising. I'd estimate that at Ingraham, school wide, we raise and distribute northwards of $150K, and I know other high school raise and distribute much more. So yes, you will be doing this a long time.

I am grateful that I can help out in this way, but it is a shame that these sorts of things aren't funded by the state. Schools with a higher percentage of FRL than Ingraham (currently in the mid-40s I think) just can't possibly raise the funds they need.

Melissa Westbrook said...

ABout SEA, here is the slate I know of:
Jesse Hagopian,
- Marian Wagner, National Board Certified Teacher, Salmon Bay K-8, current member of SEA Board of Directors—For SEA Vice President

·Dan Troccoli, current Vice President of the SEA Substitute Association, founding member of SEE—For SEA Treasurer

·And a slate of other candidates for the SEA Board of Directors

Math, we can only wait. I have heard nothing.

Karen, it's been awhile. For math, you test into honors math and everyone can take the test. There is Spectrum for LA. To the best of my knowledge, there are no science honors classes.

You do try out for sports but there are also club sports (not sponsored by the school) as well. How competitive it is may depend on the school. I would definitely talk to the coach of whatever sport you are considering.

Patrick, that wasn't my experience. Maybe the district is between editions. Good question for the principal or executive director for your region. But books are basics, no one should be fundraising for them.

Good for Pathfinder teachers for speaking up. Common Core is going to weigh heavily for both teachers and students. Again, not enough prep/piloting for this to go forward. What's the rush? Better to get it right.

Anonymous said...

At Eckstein my kids had no assigned textbook for any class ever. There were some social studies textbooks that were used in the classroom as reference materials. There were some novels & plays where a copy was provided for each student to borrow for reading. There were the new discovering math texts that were not used, but online problem sets from them were sometimes assigned. Mostly materials were produced by the teachers.

At Roosevelt textbooks were often purchased by the PTSA or the foundation. I have seen them very often in AP social science classes where memorizing the text is a big part of the curriculum. They use them in math, but more often problem sets come out of the AP practice books each family has to buy. I have not seen textbooks used in LA classes, science, or foreign language.

-HS parent

Maje said...

I heard a parent at our K-8 say that the current start time plan for some K-8 schools is for the middle school kids to start before the K-5 kids start - perhaps 15 to 30 minutes before.

Has anyone heard anything about this?

Anonymous said...

At Hale thus far in 9th and 10th grade there have been no books for science, no text books for language arts (they read provided novels), no math book that I have seen (problems are online on Fusion for homework), and no books for history (articles printed and handed out sometimes). There is a Japanese book provided but the workbook must be purchased on your own. Hale also has large fundraising efforts to help kids who can't buy this stuff and to provide library books. There are also various booster organizations to help pay for activities.

HP

Anonymous said...

The rush is that what we have now is horrible, and the candidates have already been vetted for common core alignment. They DO align well, and more importantly many of them can teach students math very well. Certainly better than an on the fly, brand new curriculum developed only to match the newest test.

Maybe if I thought we had a decent curriculum now I'd be fine with more wait and study, but I can't stand the idea of another year of kids receiving an inadequate mathematical education. I see in my job every day how being math illiterate gravely harms otherwise stable adults. I do wish they'd get a move on for middle and high school students- particularly middle school.

-sleeper

Been There said...

Good luck in middle school, Patrick. There aren't any science textbooks. Atleast, that has been the experience we had.

Science has aspiral curriculum; similar to EDM. Teachers pull materials from various sources.

For music, students were playing their instruments with music on their laps. Fortunately, there were parent organizers that chipped in.

Linh-Co said...

The letter from Arbor Heights teachers should not affect the process. The K-5 focus in K-5 Common Core is arithmetic as it should have been all along. In my opinion EDM and TERC did not have that as a focus. Hence all sorts of things like probability, map skills, etc. were distractions from kids learning the foundation. And I'm not even a fan of CCSS.

TERC Investigations were supposed to teach kids critical thinking skills yet damaged a generation of students and made them math illiterate. The choices this time around are far better than what we have now. Some people will have us believe that Common Core is the fix but there are great math textbooks being used by parents, teachers, and tutors that have nothing to do with Common Core.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Sleeper,

Also I'm a little concerned that none of the people who are associated with the UW Mathematics Education Project who seem to want further rumination on math curriculum appear to be scientists or engineers who use math for practical purposes. I think this has been a core problem for SPS in developing appropriate math curriculum.

Several of the math programs under consideration are very good for teaching practical computation and mathematical principles at K-8, Middle and High school levels.

-Scientist

Anonymous said...

Top 3 finalists are enVision, Math In Focus, Go Math/My Math.

-No Posting

Anonymous said...

So are we hearing that kids taking AP classes and those in APP/Spectrum have text books and Middle School/High School students in Gen Ed/Non-AP classes don't? Just checking.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

No. At the school I am aware of enough classes to comment it is the reverse. Spectrum, not enough books/no books, gen ed, there are enough books.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

In one of our child's classes, they actually have a decent history textbook, but the teacher for some reason barely uses it - to the detriment of their learning. In our younger child's class, they don't have enough history textbooks to go around and they all sit unused. It's mindboggling. At home, we've accumulated an entire shelf of used books - science, history, math supplements - to make up for it. Absolutely maddening.

We've seen textbooks for math and for high school level science classes taken in middle school. That's about it.

-MS (and APP) parent

Been There said...

One last point, Patrick. My son's middle school teachers shared math books. Students were rushed through lessons because another class needed books. And, yes, students share textbooks.

Anonymous said...

I am not asking "are there enough books to go around" although that's another question worth asking. My question is "is the curriculum based on a book, do you know what that book is, could you purchase it at your own expense if you wanted to help your child review?" I am dealing with kid who is struggling with a book less curriculum. It's hard to know where the heck the material is coming from but she does not have access to it in order to review. To me that's a huge disadvantage.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

No, that is definitely more frequently the reverse! Gen ed has curriculums and therefore theoretically and sometimes really books to go with, honors/app more often does not, and therefore no dedicated books (let alone funded). I do not always know what the book is, and if the teacher isn't using it then it probably wouldn't help to review since they are using other materials.

Your kid is elementary, right? Is it language arts or math? I was thinking of middle school, but for math right now it's mostly everyday math, or if you are at Salmon bay it might be TERC investigations. Both terrible, get a Singapore book covering the same material to help. For language arts none of my kids had textbooks in elementary, and for history the one time I remember them having one the class had one copy the teacher would occasionally make copies of. That's gen ed and APP. So far my elementary experience with gen ed has had some more curriculum materials, because it is defined.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

No this is Middle School and I am trying to get resources to help her. We're addressing it. It seems Melissa did not have this experience with her kids and that's why I am wondering. In elementary school my kids had books.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Is this a newish cost cutting measure? This no book thing? There is a website and its absolutely terrible not well organized and really babyish for Middle Schoolers.

Anonymous said...

GEM - Your post came across as biased and I'm not sure if that was your intent. I reread the posts again and maybe I'm not seeing what you're seeing because other than one comment about AP classes having text books, there was no distinction about APP/Spectrum vs. Gen Ed classes...either classes had no text books or not enough to go around. Please don't start up another Gen Ed vs. AL debate unnecessarily.

Schools with PTAs that can fund books, or who have heavy parent involvement, tend to support buying books and are able to do so. I feel for those schools that don't have the means and most are high FRL. This is a district problem, not as much a program related difference.

Ugh

Anonymous said...

Oops above is me

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

No Melissa specifically mentioned "I didn't have that experience with my kids. Books are basics". But maybe it's a timing and budget thing. Maybe it's because she's a few years out. She just seemed to take it for granted that kids have books.

Gen Ed Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Gen Ed Mom, I think we all get where you are coming from. You consistently match up any kind of honors/advanced learning against Gen Ed and make comparisons.

No one even mentioned AP and yet you brought it up. What has that got to do with books?

I did not write those two sentences together so why you linked them is a mystery. My belief - from being both a parent and a long-time PTA board member - is that books are basics. But that appears, from current parents' experiences, not to be the case.

I never take anything for granted in this district. Woe to the parent who does.

Anonymous said...

And it was an honest question. I don't think it's fair if some kids have books and others don't whether that's a program distinction or a wealth distinction (and likely it's both because I doubt there are many FRL kids in the AL programs). And I don't think PTAs should be funding books.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

And someone did, in fact, mention
they have frequently seen textbooks for AP classes.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Here is our experience (7th grader at a K-8 school).

Last year in 6th grade: There was a social studies book but it was classroom only--they share with the other class. Same for CMP math book. No science book. No LA book.

This year in 7th grade: They have the horrible CMP math books. They have a science book. Social studies has no book, just handouts that they cannot keep, nor does LA.

This weekend an assigned SS project came home: make a poster on an assigned topic from the unit they were studying (American Revolution). The kids spent several days in class last week researching a subtopic on the revolutionary war. They were given handouts printed from a book on their topic. They were told to write down notes in their SS journals on their topic. They shared these handouts with the other class. So they could not come home. Over the weekend, my kiddo determined she did not have enough recorded in her journal to complete the poster. And because she was not provided a book, or a set of handouts, we had to spend our afternoon Googling with her. Most of the information on the web on the revolutionary war is not really geared toward middle schoolers. So we spent way too much time trying to find something appropriate to her topic. Also, if I had known about this project more than a few days before it was due, I would have bought her materials. But, as usual, the communication is too little, too late.

This is TRULY an absurd way for kids to learn. Frankly, I am really beside myself with the lack of curriculum, the lack of consistency between schools, and the horrible math curriculum.

-Getting Tired

Anonymous said...

I really wonder why this hasn't come up before here. It seems like a pretty big issue that we should all be concerned about if this is the standard for this district.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

No textbooks so far in my kids' K8 elementary experience. Not in LA, science or math. Curriculum always cobbled together from guiding curriculum such as Writer's Workshop or (math) EDM...then supplemented by materials for subjects teacher felt missing in the guiding curriculum. And sometimes the reverse, teachers drop and very often change the pace/order of items in the guiding curriculum.

Besides the deluge of paper that comes home, I generally think it is a good thing. I feel as though the teachers aren't phoning it in via a textbook - they are using more sources and a more thoughtful outlook on what needs to be covered.

Our parents don't pay for textbooks. They have raised money for in-class reading materials, science and math manipulatives, etc.

Alt Mom

Anonymous said...

@Linh-co, I think you meant to say the letter regarding math curriculum and common core from -Pathfinder K8- not "Arbor Heights," correct?

PF

Anonymous said...

Math curriculum nonannouncement is exactly what I expected out of SPS. Weeks late. No district communication. Different staff same old story.

DistrictWatcher

An SEA slate question. Is that it? Knapp has to step down after 2 years but doesn't the VP usually take over? That's a woman, right? It's not Jesse Hagopian. So is she running too or is she punting to Hagopian's group?

Anonymous said...

Besides the deluge of paper that comes home, I generally think it is a good thing. I feel as though the teachers aren't phoning it in via a textbook - they are using more sources and a more thoughtful outlook on what needs to be covered.

I have the opposite sentiment. It seems incredibly wasteful - the copy budgets must be huge, not to mention the time the teacher needs to spend finding and then copying material. From our experience, significant content is being missed as there is no textbook to anchor the lessons or the coverage of content.

-weighing in

Michael Rice said...

I can only speak for what I do. I have taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Algebra 2 Honors, IB Math Studies, and AP Statistics. This has allowed me to see the whole range of students in my time at Ingraham. I have a book for all my classes except IB Math Studies. I have 70 students and only 40 books, but that is fine, I don't particuarly like that book. I grab resources where I can.

The Friends of Ingraham group has funded me to buy AP Statistics books and graphing calculators. I will probably be asking for money for more Statistics books for next year, if the number of students who say they are going to sign up, actually. All I can say, is "thank you" to those of you who fund this. You make it possible for me to teach the class the way I want to.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I think deviating from the book based on the kids' ability/interest can be a good thing. But there does need to be something anchoring the content and there should be universal access to that material. Whether that is a book a (very comprehensive) website, a notebook full of information or some teacher created curricular material, but something. The information needs to be presented in a coherent way that builds from one lesson to the next. Jumping around from topic to topic with nothing tying them together leads to a very shallow understanding of the subject or no understanding at all. And kids shouldn't be googling information the night before a test or a paper is due because they don't have any official class resources to review. I have maintained before that in terms of done kind of set subject curriculum from grade to grade and school to school the Gen Ed program is lacking! A lot is up to the individual teacher and often kids end up repeating or completely missing material.


Gen Ed Mom

Linh-Co said...

@PF

Good catch. Yes, I meant Pathfinder and not Arbor Heights. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Alg 1 book availability is a constant problem in High School. OK, geom & Alg 2 as well but Alg 1 winds up with the most "lost" books (never returned, move, drop-outs, damaged). Many teachers track books well but some do not (the district sure doesn't).

When I spoke with Harium prior to the current adoption he said he would not approve any HS math adoption without 100K a year for replacements. His intentions aside I'm not sure that happened (and if so where is that budget line). The poorer schools (mine) lose the most due to student mobility, thus hindering the availability for the next teacher, etc.

Unfortunately some teachers don't like the books (I'm not saying they're the greatest - but they are a school resource) and thus some classes become worksheet driven. Pity the poor disorganized student who now can never find his homework or show family something to read and remind them how to do a math assignment. Same happens, as noted above, in middle school.

-- Former Alg1teach

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most depressing posts...textbooks are so basic. Teachers and PTAs should not have to provide texts for core classes. Absolutely crazy.

-speechless

Anonymous said...

The inequities among schools in this district are astounding. Some operate like private schools (well funded by parent donations) and others struggle for the basics. It is both pathetic, and disappointing. I see the need for pooling PTA funds and distributing them. Fine, take into account the "extra" money some schools get because of the Free and Reduced Lunch numbers. Let schools keep a percentage (say, 50%) of what they raise. If someone doesn't like it, withhold the donation or go to a private school. I am at a school whose PTA raises 175k plus. The $ comes with too many strings: entitled parents and school staff who kow-tow.

Frustrated staffer

bookie said...

My child who is in high school has his own Geometry textbook, World History textbook and Japanese text book. He uses both the history textbook and the Geometry text book several times a week for homework. The Japanese textbook is used less often and we had to buy the workbook for Japanese. For Language Arts the books they read are supplied.

I don't think my middle schooler has any textbooks. Nothing comes home. Lots of photocopied sheets for math and many are handwritten by his teacher.

Anonymous said...

Can any of the teachers who have weighed in speak to how long this inequity around books has existed? How many years back do you have to got to find classrooms without books in SPS schools? is this something that happened with the downturn in the Economy? Does it go back to MGJ and her real estate debacle? Clearly some of the people who watch the district didn't even know about this. It is sad to me that books would be considered optional for any school or that they would ever be something the PTA purchases. We blame the students home environments and say that we can't close the achievement gap because some parents just aren't committed enough, but most parents can't (and wouldn't be wanted even if they could) accompany their middle and high schools students to class, and if those kids have nothing to bring home how on earth can parents possibly support learning at home. We are truly setting some kids up to fail.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

"The inequities among schools in this district are astounding. Some operate like private schools (well funded by parent donations) and others struggle for the basics."

I have been bringing up this topic for many moons on this blog, as well as in the school district. It has gotten worse, not better.

Don't expect the PTA donation idea to get any traction. Seattle parents on this blog have overwhelmingly been against it, even though Portland and neighboring Seattle districts are making PTA donations more equitable.

The rationale for perpetuating the inequity seems to be this: My child isn't getting all that he/she deserves, so I can't focus on glaring unfairness in the meantime.

BTW, Michael Rice seemed to confirm the obvious. Ingraham did not have these basic resources just a few years ago before it went IB and the parent money followed. Yes, Frustrated Staffer, this district is definitely a tale of two cities, and people keep turning a blind eye to this reality. I'm glad Michael Rice is thankful, but I hope he's also aware that his fellow teachers at other schools do not have the minimal resources.

Textbooks should be basic instead of MAP, high teacher evaluation costs, etc. GenEd mom, follow the money. It correlates with APP enrollment, but also with certain neighborhoods. The discrepancies are truly breathtaking.

As I've stated many times before, the FRL lunch money does not even begin to address what the students need. It is a very lame argument against making PTA donations more equitable.

--enough already

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Looking for feedback on school start times and a shared campus concept - there is a push to align JAMS and Hale start times to form a "collaborative" campus (campus meaning a combined Hale and JAMS). One reason given was to allow JAMS students to walk to Hale for math, science, music, and foreign language classes. Are middle school parents on board with this? Leaving campus and taking classes at the high school?

-NH

Anonymous said...

Apparently. And for the umpteen billionth time, my neighborhood school, and the two near it, raise way more money per capita than APP, and I think way more money overall. They certainly have more resources and enrichment. I have no idea what private schools you are aware of, but I can't think of any public schools that touch them in resources, except for the most part better paid, and therefore mostly better teachers. I can't think of any public schools that touch any of the (relatively middling) schools in Minnesota and Massachusetts my relatives send their kids to in resources. This idea you have of vast luxury somewhere in the NE is like looking for Atlantis. It's not there.

No I do not think pooling PTA resources will work until state funding goes up. For a lot of reasons, none of which are the malicious ones you like to assign absolutely anyone who disagrees with you. The resources are not fungible. If you change what they are going to, they will go away. People give to what they want to give to. Private individuals cannot and should not make up what lacks in government funding- unless of course you agree with the Republicans(bush 2 would say you are right, that's how to fill the gap, possibly churches should step in. That right there is enough to let me know I am right.), that we can keep government small and let those in need and worse, public institutions, kowtow to the larger public opinion and whim. And that argument is so specious- I assume we expect Wing Luke to give all its PTA funds to Darfur? Children are dying and we are supposed to worry about whether a teacher teaching students who all have socks and their own chair has a projector? Surely Broadview Thompson students don't need new shoes so much as one Syrian child needs any shoes? No one should give to PTAs anywhere until every child in the world is fed, at least.

I agree with you that I would rather the district pay for more books than the MAP. But many teachers genuinely don't like textbooks, so in some cases it would be a waste.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

NH, I'm not a JAMS parent yet, but yes, I would very much be on board with kids being able to walk to Hale. That's part of why I thought that campus was so attractive as a middle school campus- the opportunity to share resources. Hopefully it can go both ways(share teachers they can't afford to hire full time on their own?) and the physical plant is such that they both get more field space, for example, but I would think it would be especially helpful the first few years if JaMS is too small to support some important but rarer classes (some foreign language, advanced math, etc)

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Well then it's all solved. Some teachers don't like books, there isn't "vast luxury" in the Northeast (although the neighborhood schools do raise a lot of money there) and kids are starving in Darfur, so let's stop talking about inequity in our own school district. Why can't we talk about the fact that it's apparently quite normal in many middle and high schools in our district for some kids to have very large classes and no book thus no good way to get any help outside of school or study at home? What happens if they are sick? If you wouldn't put up with this for your kids why does the fact that there are kids starving in Dafur make it OK for other kids in this district? I'm baffled at the lack of compassion for the other kids who share this district with yours. We can't start to close the acheivement gap unless we care. Some kids may have more enrichment than yours. And some don't even have basic supplies.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

It's normal in all seattle area middle and high schools not to have books, including whichever schools you are choosing to demonize for apparent wealth. Certainly including mine, which you probably mean. Some of my children's teachers think textbooks are archaic and a bad teaching tool- this is a legitimate teaching philosophy. I'm old, so I like them, but it may be that times are changing. I do put up with no textbooks and large class sizes, because that is what my local school has, same as yours. I'm in the NE, so I probably put up with a little extra crowding, too, for fun.

I'm saying villainizing people for not making your same charity choices is morally suspect at the very best. If you've ever given to money to any cause besides starving children in war torn countries, you've when the exact same lack of compassion you are accusing me of. I do think the posters on here espousing this view should absolutely give their personal money to whatever cause they want, including specific seattle area schools, or a few seattle schools they seem underprivileged enough, and not ones they send their kids to if they are too privileged (though there are many poorer districts than ours that could really use your money before you go privileging your local, relatively privileged kids, even if they are slightly less well off than another nearby school. Try looking up some rural Mississippi schools, and see if ours don't look so bad after all.) I give some of my charity money to my children's public schools. I match that with foster child help donations. What do you do? If you want to demonize charitable giving and effects, go after churches' tax exempt status or possibly private secondary education, but I'm far too liberal to think what public elementary schools need is to run on charity. Those are government institutions. I think the government should fund a LOT more, but that is a whole lot different than wanting to run the government on charity or hoping people will become less involved in their community schools.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Some of my children's teachers think textbooks are archaic and a bad teaching tool- this is a legitimate teaching philosophy.

Legitimate because they believe it to be so?

-book lover

Anonymous said...

No, because they have real, research based theories behind their beliefs, about the over static ness of curricula in textbooks and the need for more real life applications of subject matter in teaching situations. Especially history and science. I don't agree, but it's not crackpot. And it's fairly common among younger teachers. Lots of them love the online stuff, even for elementary.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

A little off the textbook topic, but this is now a major peeve of mine. Online stuff as curriculum in elementary. My kid's curriculum is at least 75% "cute" PDFs from the online site Teachers Pay Teachers. I get the need for creativity and "fun" material, but this stuff is not vetted (our teacher never picks up the many errors and typos), not always aligned, and definitely doesn't appeal to every kid, or even most.

NEP

Anonymous said...

I will say this is my major concern with online material - it's not vetted or fact checked. We have had multiple instances of teacher selected or student/group selected material that simply is not appropriate, for a variety of reasons: not grade appropriate because it is either too mature or too simplistic, or simply not related to the core subject. When concerns are brought forth, there is little recourse because there is no anchor text for a principal to say, why aren't you covering XYZ?

Secondly, the student is left with no resources for review or study. A student can't simply read the book as a means of dealing with a less than competent teacher.

And yet...the district math texts were vetted and are awful. So where does that leave the debate?

-book lover

Anonymous said...

I think that leaves the debate at Curriculum. No book. Fine. But you need to sell me on that. If you have a plan to cover every topic that is in the curriculum in an orderly fashion AND there is some reference material that the student does not have to go out and find herself (in other words it has the information she is required to learn this year so she can review it in case of unplanned absence (illness) or in case she does not understand everything in the classrooms (which are large and not always the best learning environment), AND all the students have easy access to that reference material so they can use it at home, I am OK with no book. You have to be a very strong teacher, in my opinion, to carry this off. For teachers who are not as strong, it is better for everybody if there is a book. How did we get to the situation where any teacher can basically decide which topics to cover in the classroom and which things they "don't have time for". Last year my kids teacher "didn't have time" for grammar (it wasn't that she was teaching it in a manner I wasn't used to, she flat out said she didn't have time for it and so she decided not to teach it). How does that happen? Despite Sleeper's idea that Gen Ed has "A Curriculum" and AL programs don't, that has NOT been my experience. Across the board, we need work on what needs to be taught at each grade level. I am all for teachers deciding to teach in their own way and making it fun for the kids. But there has to be some overarching curriculum guiding them, and they should be able to point the parents to that for support from home rather than just "doing their own thing." Some teachers are "doing their own thing" and seem to think this is OK.

My sense is a strong principal can get all this under control but since the school district often gives the poorer schools the weaker principals and even the "good" schools in the wealthiest neighborhoods have frequent principal turn over, many kids are getting the short end of the stick.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

The Math books being vetted and awful is another issue. Most parents I know are supplementing in Math. I honestly don't have the time energy or money to supplement in every single class though. Yes, let's get better Math books but let's not decide that because we have bad Math books now books are a failure and so every teacher gets to just "pull from a variety of sources".

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Parents can make a huge difference when they work with their kids at home to offset the weaknesses of our public schools. Not all parents have the ability, system experience, or time (a function of income) to do this.This is the biggest source of inequity driving "the gap".

Yet I don't thing anyone would ask me to stop tutoring my kid in math at home, in the interest of equity. I don't think anyone would suggest that PTAs mandate that any hour spent volunteering at one school is matched by an hour volunteering at another school that needs it. People do have the freedom to shore up an inadequate system as they see fit.

I believe we should all support candidates and legislation that will fully fund all schools. I have always done so, even long before being married and even thinking of having kids.

I don't believe the burden of creating equality in school resources should be borne only by those who participate in their kids' schools.

SPS Mom

Anonymous said...

On a related note,

Policymakers: Stop Being Agnostic About Curriculum

I challenge anyone to tell me the general scope and sequence (the curriculum, not the standards) for each grade and subject in Seattle Schools. It doesn't seem to exist.

-chiming in

Anonymous said...

I can understand if some teachers don't like to use books in some cases. But there needs to be some kind of learning material--that everyone has access to--and preferably not the majority of which is online. My 7th grader had a test in SS yesterday with one day notice on what they learned over the last two months. What did she have to study with? Basically her hand written notes taken in her SS journal over a number of classes the last two months. No book, no handouts, no website reference to review. Reviewing notes in your journal may work great from some kids....but not mine. Her hand written notes are not very legible even to herself, and they are not likely to be complete. Do we really expect our kids to have copied down in their journals all the material they need using either visual or auditory processing with no additional resources: no book, no handouts, nothing? Because grades in middle school are really not that important, I have some perspective on this...however, it just seems like such a missed opportunity for our kids to do it like this.

-Getting Tired

Anonymous said...

SPS mom, we are talking here about some very BASIC things here that many people on this board apparently take for granted that all kids in our school district have (because their kids have them) and yet it turns out the norm in our high schools and middle schools is that many (most) kids don't. A curriculum. Text books. A WAY for parents who are so inclined to support their kids at home (rather than, "I can't tell you what we are teaching this semester, it's coming from a variety of sources and we don't have the budget to give you that stuff to look at, but it will all be covered in class"). Does this bother you? Apart from saying "it's not my fault" (I agree it's not), this is a public school system. We are supposed to all be in this together, no?

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Getting Tired, Grades in middle school are not that important. But LEARNING in middle school is very important. I think all kids in our middle schools deserve to learn enough to take challenging classes in high school.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Gen Ed Mom, I agree. I want the learning to happen. And I want all kids to have a chance to take advanced classes in high school. So these middle school years are so important in that regard.

But I am tired of Googling for SS materials and buying books for my kiddo to constantly fill the gaps. And I am very sick of relearning all the math concepts that the CMP book does not explain (so I can support at home), but that they are magically supposed to learn via inquiry.

Last year for 6th grade, the science teacher (a lovely man) told us during curriculum night that he did not have a science book to use. He said he would love a new book, but that he couldn't use the ones he had because they were 15 years old.

To what extend do teachers long for new materials and have their needs unmet? (They don't necessarily have to be books, but something that can be shared with each and every student.) It may be that the answer to that question is different for each teacher. But the answer from parents is clear: we want our kids to have materials to support the curriculum.

-Getting Tired

Anonymous said...

Wait, what kids do you think just have books? People said that in some particular classes they saw books(usually math or the occasional social studies class), but mostly not. Nobody is taking it for granted. Nobody has books. My "thinking" about gen ed curriculum is because 90% of my years in SPS are in gen ed classes, where there was a curriculum (not at one of the villain schools in the NE, so it's not that my school is especially well funded) and when I moved a child to APP, suddenly no curriculum, fewer books, which I hear is even fuzzier up in middle school since they don't get high school credit so can't just do two years ahead and use that stuff, but are supposed to be doing those "standards." I think that has more to do with teacher turnover at the APP school I send a kid too than lack of curriculum, though, and I would also say that it is always easier to see curriculum with a good fit teacher.

Chiming in, for better or worse(probably worse) I could actually completely tell you the scope and sequence of elementary school subjects in gen ed, except that I have to get off the Internet in a second here. You know the science kits, right? Balls/levers, dirt, worms, rocks, yada yada. There are 3 per grade, and teachers pick how many to do, I think, and the schools gets them in slightly different orders to reuse materials across the district. And then the math is by textbook, so it's defined that way. Subtraction introduced second half of k, I think, and I remember fractions being introduced the same day in 3rd grade, too. I really hope it's math in focus starting next year. Language arts I would divide into reading and writing(and reading is obviously highly differentiated, but standard at the end of kindergarten is some number of sight words, low DRA, right? I remember being told expected progress through DRas/ fountas and pinnell letters, something like 2 a year. And they use that relatively unpopular program for teaching reading in k and first.) but everybody in my family wrote an autobiography with more than one draft in second grade, for example, and a fiction story with more than one draft and a beginning, middle, and end. And I think there was also a non fiction writing unit that year. We all remember small moments, that writer's workshop stuff, which has a well defined scope and sequence, and weekend reports, which switch from pictures to writing in the middle of kindergarten, right? And then the teachers are supposed to have the kids write more and more. The third grade native cultures project in social studies has been remarkably consistent (and I don't think that great so I wonder why), and they all love the second grade Washington state unit.

Does every 5th grade class put on midsummer night's dream? I think so, right? Or a different play?

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

This is my experience with one of my kids: 2 different elementary schools and my kid has done the same Science until twice. Electricity. They were using Readers & Writers workshop (supposedly) last year but that consisted mainly of free reading and writing in a journal and some kind of sticky note thing that was never clear to me or my kid (she was doing it wrong but the teacher could not explain how to do it right and she ended up in tears so many times and after talking to the teacher I was almost in tears so I stopped trying to get her to do it.) There was a Social Studies project on Native Americans which we did 100 percent at home and there were no instructions on how to do the project or what it should include or what it should teach until I asked and then the teacher did eventually (the night before it was due so we had to redo it) email a rubric which all the other parents appreciated. I had my kid write the paper at home, I found the materials she used for research, I corrected the grammar (which was tough because she said "we don't have to do that" and her teacher confirmed that there was no time to teach grammar, so no, they weren't going to worry about it). I then bought a 3rd grade grammar book and we did grammar at home. I guess my kid learned something doing that project but she learned it all from me. And the rubric was mostly about how it was supposed to look (it was cute, she got an "A"). Besides one nonfiction story which she didn't really finish and which had pretty horrible errors in it (and so did all the others because they had a "celebration" at school and I saw them all) that project was pretty much the only thing she did all year that I could see. Maybe there was some kinds of curriculum they were following but it didn't include spelling, grammar, or learning to write. They did do a job application. Like you would fill out for McDonald's. I remember that and wondering "Is that what this school is preparing my kid for?" This year the Language Arts seem better. But then the teacher is better. They are doing Spelling and Grammar, not in the way I am used to. But it seems like that's a choice a teacher can make. There did not seem to be any way to make that other teacher cover the things she didn't feel like covering.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

With you there gen ed mom for ES. Curriculum was RR& WW for LAs. Reading text depended on your reading group and a kid or volunteer adult would lead group discussion. History was a series of videos, articles, maps, and pamphlets, googling at school and home. Math was EDM. Science curriculum was the science kits. Grammar and any in depth coverage of a subject/topic matter were completely teacher depended. This was a high PTA fundraiser, AAA rated school. Kids did get music, art, and well equipped gym for lack of outdoor space. Lots of whiteboards, iPads, robotics, and other techie toys.

parent

Anonymous said...

Gen Ed Mom,

It sounds like you experienced a teacher who did not communicate well with parents. I don't think having textbooks available to teachers will solve that problem. You can't make teachers stick to the textbook. The district tried that with fidelity of implementation & pacing guides when they introduced every day math. Maybe some teachers would improve if they were forced to parrot the textbook, many would not. We parents might know more about what is going on in the classroom, but perhaps not. I never knew what they were doing in EDM & had to reteach it at home using other materials anyway.

I think that having a curriculum map that refers to standards & what ever they are using for glees now, would probably serve you better. There are pluses & minuses to standardizing instruction. I think we have seen both in this district in the last couple of decades.

The 2 times I have seen a school work at aligning curriculum school-wide, changes in staff, administration or district policies have destroyed it within a year or two. I have had more luck by meeting with the teacher & asking my questions about classroom goals directly.

-HS parent.

Anonymous said...

So here's my question for you Sleeper: Is Readers and Writers Workshop a curriculum? Or is it a teaching method? I honestly don't know. I would think a Curriculum would be more than: "Students will write a Biography and a Story this year." And a Social Studies Curriculum is more than "do a report on Native Americans" Because you can do those things in a classroom and not teach the kids anything. On the other hand, you could do those things and teach a lot. To me, there have to be learning objectives: Children will learn these things this year: X, Y, and Z. We will use Readers and Writers Workshop and a research project/report on Native Americans to teach them that.

What was missing to my mind last year, was what they were supposed to be learning. And so, when my daughter clearly didn't learn I had no recourse. And the principal told me she did not have much recourse other than offering support to the teacher. She could not MAKE her teach the kids anything. Why?

Now, at my current school I have asked questions about curriculum as well. I have not gotten great answers but I feel like my fourth grader is learning because her teacher is good.

Am I missing something?

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

Believe me HS parent, I TRIED to communicate with that teacher.


Would it be so hard to say "In third grade the kids learn this grammar," and then spell out what that is? They can teach it however they want, I don't care. They can do worksheets or teach it by writing and correcting the writing, but there should be certain things they have to know by the end of third grade. If a teacher's way of teaching that isn't working, the principal make her do it in a more rudimentary, less fun way but it still gets done. Creative teaching methods are great for creative and organized teachers. For those who aren't this system allows them to hide the fact that they aren't teaching.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

It is more. I was trying to remind people who might have thought that was just stuff their teacher decided to do. The instructions on the science kit are quite detailed, if you want to use them, and I have seen writer's workshop implemented the exact same way 3 times. That is a curriculum. The native cultures unit definitely has curriculum. I saw a lot of detail about how these things were supposed to go(especially in 3rd grade) and how the teacher was expecting to use these projects to teach the kids stuff that the rubric evaluated (objectives), which our teacher who loved that stuff showed us linked to the report card categories. Here was the growth they were supposed to show in the different writing units with these tools. Some of the other ones ignored it and thought they had better ways, which they mostly really did, and once really did not. Yes, you had a bad teacher. No, the year was not bad because there was not curriculum. More curriculum would not have helped. I find more required curriculum just hamstrings good teachers, and as you saw, doesn't do anything to support struggling ones. The only area I think might be an exception to that is math, partly because so many elementary teachers are weak themselves in math, and partly because of the type of thinking math is.

But mostly, teaching is a profession, and reducing that job to flashcard reading and exact automaton instructions serves no one. There was a curriculum for your third grader (who was in a split class- I have a child in a split class now and am giving the teacher, who is great- a break on covering exactly the same things as my other kids, because it is and has to be different. I am glad she has some freedom and flexibility. A rigid curriculum in there would be death. How could that even work without a cloned teacher?). The teacher did not use it. I don't think we should be able to "make" them, because for the most part if they are not it's for good reason. Once my then third grader's teacher noticed that like 80% of the kids couldn't tell time well enough, so she did an extra unit on time, and shortened a later unit they got pretty quickly. And thank goodness she didn't have to just ignore it and send them on with bad skills, and follow the curriculum to the letter. That flexibility is critical.

I am not saying all the curriculums are good. The one I am most educated about-math- is terrible, and it's not that there aren't good canned ones out there, as is the case I gather with some other subjects. Math in focus is great. But they are definitely there, in schools.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

That wasn't communicated clearly to me by the school at all. And honestly, I still have questions about what my children are supposed to be learning in each grade. Is there anywhere I can find that information for the Gen Ed Curriculum for SPS (I don't need the teaching instructions but WHAT concepts are supposed to be covered in each grade?) That would be most useful. Thanks for any help or any direction you can point me in to find this!

Gen Ed Mom

Been There said...

Gen. Ed. Mom,

Familiarize yourself with Washington State standards.

Whatever you do, don't count on our schools to meet your children's needs. Teachers are overburdened.


Been There said...

Sleeper is also correct. SPS adopted a terrible math program that does not teach basic skills. Get math workbooks for your children etc. and practice basic skills.

Anonymous said...

http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/learningstandards.aspx

There are the grade level expectations.

http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=177512

There are discussions of the curriculums the district has bought for the different subjects. If you go to the websites for the curriculums or google, you can find more of their specific ways of getting to those grade level expectations. But obviously it's proprietary so they don't want it just out there, otherwise no one would ever purchase it. I have asked to see it from teachers before (to see what a kid was talking about about, for example), and I am sure you could too, if you want to see more.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

OH, I took the Washington State Standards for 3rd grade into a meeting with the principal. Is that all we have? Really?

Please don't tell me not to count on the schools to meet my children's needs. If you really think I am doing that, you haven't read anything I've written. I pulled my kid out last year and home schooled for a while her although we both work. Parents are overburdened too. But I am doing my best to meet my kids needs. That does not mean I think the schools get a free pass.

I am trying to get the schools to meet ALL of our kids needs. My kids are pretty normal kids with pretty average needs. I asked Sleeper a specific question because she seems to have a lot of knowledge in this area.

Gen Ed Mom



Melissa Westbrook said...

"Grades in middle school are not that important."

What? Yes, they are. It's a launch for classes in high school(which are tremendously important). Fine if you don't think so but pass that onto your child and find out how much does matter when they get to high school.

Getting Tired, you are right. Parents should not be supplementing basic curriculum. That you feel something isn't happening in the classroom is troubling. I would have a heart-to-heart with the teacher (difficult as that might be).

I would advise people to search for the word "curriculum" here; Charlie has written extensively on it.

Anonymous said...

OK Melissa, I want my middle school student to get the best grades she is capable of. She knows that. And she's capable. When there is no way to support a kid in that because it's all dependent on what happens in class and I don't know what the heck happened and she doesn't remember,she doesn't have good notes, or the information has not been communicated in a manner that's clear. she's confused, I'm confused, am I going to freak out because she might get a low grade? No. But I am going to freak out that she's not learning anything. And I am going to take steps to address that. That's what I meant. I don't want to miss the forest for the trees.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

No, we also have the curricula which elaborate on how to reach those goals and how they go together. And then there are report cards, which are often so mind boggingly dense and detailed(and often irrelevant- dance grades. When there is no dance support or funding, and wtf, dance grades?) that teachers ignore and just write all 3's, but there is more stuff on expectations in addition to the curriculum, for implementation. I have specific criticisms of a lot of them, but they are very often quite detailed. There is lots if information, if what you want is information, and a teacher could absolutely fill each day completely with curriculum approved and designed activities to meet state and seattle specific grade level expectations. If they wanted. But again, proprietary, so not freely available on google. Your principal has them, though. I think in all my kids' classrooms the teacher has a bookshelf by their desk with the big curriculum instruction books. Which they use varying amounts, but they are there for the looking.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sleeper for the info. I appreciate it.

Gen Ed Mom

Anonymous said...

For science, the kits (very scripted BTW) have become the curriculum, but they don't fully meet the WA State standards. For LA, RWW has become the curriculum, despite lacking grammar, vocabulary, etc. For social studies - what social studies? 4th grade was supposed to be Washington State history, but my child's class spent maybe 20 min. a week on history. For 5th grade, which was supposed to be US history, nothing.

But I am tired of Googling for SS materials and buying books for my kiddo to constantly fill the gaps. And I am very sick of relearning all the math concepts that the CMP book does not explain (so I can support at home), but that they are magically supposed to learn via inquiry.

We are in the same situation. I am tired of playing part-time teacher for my children.

-tired2

Melissa Westbrook said...

All of you that are being the part-time teacher, I feel your pain. I felt the same way for SOME teachers, not all. Too little information (sometimes very late), no online updates so I could figure out what was happening and a lot of fill-in by me.

First, not what should be happening. This is not about being an involved parent - this is making parents do work that is NOT their job. Their job is to make sure homework is done - not help with it.

Second, what about single-parent families? Or even both parents - tired at the end of the day - why should this be happening at all? What about poor/immigrant parents with no Internet access and/or language barriers?

Anonymous said...

One of my co-workers has sent her three kids to the same K-8 school in Edmonds. When we chat about kids and school, this issue comes up. She says she always knows what they are working on and what is coming up. How? Fro one, they use a good math curriculum. And two, that simple little thing called communication from the teachers. Each of the teachers, including at the middle school level, sends out a lengthy email outlining what they are studying, when there will be quizzes/tests, and if there are any projects the kids are working on. For the middle school kids, the emails from each of the teachers might cover 2-3 weeks of information for parents. This won't solve the lack of books in many of our schools, or the discussion on this thread about curriculum, but it would help those parents that want to try to support at home or have to support at home. I wish our teachers at our K-8 were able to communicate this information to parents. But it's not happening. And I say all this with great hesitation, because I in no way want to sound like I am going negative on our teachers. They are already struggling with so many kids in the classroom, and so many extra new things that have to be done. Not sure if others are seeing more or less in the way of teacher-parent communication these days, due do to all the new burdens?

-Getting Tired

Anonymous said...

Jane and Karen had some really excellent posts about issues in even good SPS schools over in the Math Adoption Committee thread. Karen, this kind of working in small groups works well in small classrooms with a better student/teacher ratio than we have right now in SPS. With 28 kids in a second grade classroom that is going to be almost unworkable unless the teacher runs a REALLY tight ship. I have also seen it utterly fail in a small classroom because of poor classroom management skills. There should be the flexibility to NOT put kids in groups when the teacher can't manage the class that way. One of my kids has a teacher who runs a really tight ship and he manages to do ok with this kind of classroom even with a large class. He is very experienced. I doubt a new teacher could make this work with the kind of numbers we have now. Schools that can get parents to come into the classroom every single day to help have a better chance of making this work, but I don't think anyone should plan on this as a strategy. Jane, I agree with you. This is where we need more rigor in our Gen Ed program. What you describe is totally unacceptable and frankly it's just not good enough. I do think books would help here! Kids have to learn that just because I saw something on the Internet and printed it out doesn't make it a fact. They need to be learning from reliable sources. We need to expect that they will. More rigor in Gen Ed!!

Gen Ed Mom