Sunday, April 06, 2014

Seattle Schools Math Adoption Info

Seattle Public Schools is choosing new K-5 math textbooks for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year, and you have a voice in the decision.

The official selection process is being managed by the Math Adoption Committee, their website is here.


They have narrowed the field down to three possibilities:

  • Math in Focus - The Singapore Approach pub. Houghton-Mifflin 
  • Go Math! pub. Houghton-Mifflin 
  • enVision Math pub. Pearson Education 
The books are available for public review and comment at five school libraries:
 MAGNOLIA: Catherine Blaine K-8, 2550 34th Ave W, 252-1920
 RAVENNA: Bryant Elementary, 3311 NE 60th St., 252-5200
 NORTH END: Northgate Elementary, 11725 1st Ave NE, 252-4180
 WEST SEATTLE: West Seattle Elementary, 6760 34th Ave SW, 252-9450
 RAINIER VALLEY: Wing Luke Elementary, 3701 S Kenyon St., 252-7630

 Or come to the Douglass-Truth Public Library, 2300 E Yesler Way, 684-4704 during open hours: Mon-Thur 10AM to 8PM, Fri-Sat 10AM to 6PM, Sun 1PM to 5PM

 School libraries are only open during school hours, usually around 8-3, but are also open some evenings for special programs. The best thing to do is to call the school number provided above to get specific information.. All schools Closed for Spring Break: April 12-April 20.

Last day to review is April 23!

 If none of these times work for you, submit a review form on-line  (available on the committee website).

 In order to view the books on-line, follow the instructions on this page (editor's note; the SPS link is not working and I will try to get the correct one on Monday.)

[NOTE: There is a problem with the HoughtonMifflin/ThinkCentral portal. I've e-mailed tech support to see if there's a workaround. It only lets you log in once, then you have to reboot your computer to log in again.] Once inside, click the Resources tab. Do not try to review all the books!

 Here are the actual books that students would physically see:
 Math in Focus Student Edition, G2 = Second Grade math book, for example Go Math! Student Edition, G2 = Second Grade math book, for example enVision/Pearson = click on Student Edition

 When filling out the review form, please include comments. That will greatly increase your impact on the committee's final decision, which takes place on April 25. Thanks, and happy reviewing!

2 comments:

Greg said...

I tried to go provide feedback, but, honestly, this process is broken. I can only assume the committee doesn't really want feedback.

The right way to do this would be to have documents with side-by-side comparisons of how the three textbooks present material on 5-7 different topics. Then have strengths and advantages of each of the textbooks listed by 3-5 expert reviewers along with their credentials. Then provide the textbooks themselves, both physical copies at every school library and online copies, for review for people who want to skim them. Finally, provide an anonymous form to rate the textbooks on several criteria along with opportunities for comment.

The current process doesn't let you view the textbooks online (two of the three logins don't work) and physical copies are only available in a few locations. There are no expert reviews. There are no examples comparing how the three textbooks differ in presenting material. And the form for submitting feedback is a Word doc that needs to either be faxed or e-mailed in (no postal mail, no online option, and no anonymity), does not provide guidance on important criteria on which to rate the textbooks, and asks for comments in space only big enough for 1-2 sentences.

It's hard to view this as a real, honest attempt to get community feedback. It looks to me like this is a gesture toward community engagement, the committee does not want other opinions, and the decision in fact has probably already been made.

Linh-Co said...

Greg,

It would be helpful to send your feedback to the school board directors. There were several members on the committee who requested the books be displayed in public libraries in every region around the city but this was denied.

Interestingly, Math In Focus is used in Greenwich, CT and also at the Sidwell Friends school, the private school attended by President Obama's daughters.