Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Live Blogging - Math Adoption, Part Ten

Charles Wright continues with a long list of what they need for science, advanced learning, etc. that may be lost if Board chooses a more expensive math.  Medical fragile, archive support (everything and the kitchen sink, it would seem).  Data center is understaffed, can't do upgrades.

Michael Tolley on waivers.  Board policy exists, etc.  Some schools have expired waivers and others seeking waivers.  Set June 10th date for making a decision so by June 11th to be ordered. (There's that "hurry up.")

Waiver policy goes through Ex Directors (really? who knew?) .  Onto concerns about mobility - may not approve a waiver because of it.  How is that equitable or fair to schools?

Comments by Board

Carr - numbers ran by her.  Can I see side-by-side comparison?  What's the content behind numbers?

Westgaard - one year and seven year costs and then total costs.
Said it is apples to apples.

(New parlor game - What Time Will the Board Vote on Math Adoption?  I'm calling it at 8:35 pm.)

Carr - did I hear you say?  She's trying hard to get what is being said but Westgaard said he had accidentally erred and correct himself.

Peters - Manipulatives for MIF?

Westgaard - Yes

Peters - we could cut costs by half?

Back and forth on order and Westgaard says changing contract would damage district's credibility.  (C'mon, contracts change all the time.  If changing the contract changes the price - both for good and bad - then that can happen.)  Once again, going to the "hurry up" well.

Peters - apples to apples and I looked at them.  District is asking for hard-cover books and enVision doesn't have until 3-5 and MIF has only hard-cover which would save us money in the long run because hard-cover is more durable.  He agreed.

Do we need Pearson consultant "embedded" in district for PD?  Another staff person says that's what Pearson said for "fidelity."  Comparing proposals there is some interpretation about PD (which may change costs).

Peters - typical for just one day of PD?  Trying to get at apples to apples?

Audience members let Board know the enVision vendors are right in the room (pointing at them).  But no, the Board is NOT going to ask them questions (but that may possibly be unfair to MIF but who knows if they, too, have vendors in the room?)

Patu - sounds like vendors won't negotiate but it's my experience that you can.

Westgaard - said yes, you can but at some point you reach "best and final."  Willing to go back, not sure to get it down $3M.  (That's not the goal, everyone knows that MIF will cost more.)
Gave support to their team.

Carr - process you describe for procurement is one I am familiar with.  Once this happens, all leverage is gone.  So leverage was before moment, not after.  Westgaard agreed.

Peaslee  - email that said that if MIF is selected, will talk to us about our specific needs

Westgaard would have to ask Legal and don't want to open us up to lawsuit.

Peaslee said it was in the request.  He agreed but not sure if you can go back and reduce but Peaslee said there were other options for PD.  Westgaard said that was possible.

Peters - manipulatives brought up a couple of weeks ago and that was the time to go to the vendors.

Westgaard - been in negotiations with vendors up to the last couple of days.

Peters - Board just approved wireless package for $9 million, how do we prioritize needs? So should fund math.

Peaslee said only questions now but went onto comments.

Martin-Morris - two comment.  First, the focus.  Do not want people to confuse material for quality teaching and learning.  The book is important but the real important is the quality of the teacher.  Book is to help them.  Supports we provide and PD that goes with that.  When I hear the word curriculum for material - in my mind - is the day to day activity to provide content to students.

(So second-rate content with first-class PD or first-class content with lesser PD?)

Patu - I believe in visual learning.  So hard to learn if you don't read well.  I was one of these and I needed a picture many times.  I looked at these books and I see that issue between enVision and MIF. Huge gap that we have not closed and we won't close it if materials aren't working.  Mayor told them that district is not doing well with gap.  Even if parents can't read, child can still use the book by his/herself.  MIF works.


Anonymous said...

After hearing Dr. Wright's looooong laundry list of what we will have to sacrafice -- the crucial essentials -- to but the ever so expensive MIF, Ms. Peters simply said "we just did an RFP for $9 million for wireless (for all of our schools), surely math is THE priority for our children". Her point: if it is a priority, and Lord knows math should be, then staff should be able find the dollars just like they did for wireless.


jl said...

Every single EnVision lesson come with a visual support, every one!

Anonymous said...

Does Dr. Blanford realize why his meetings are not well attended? Does Mr. Martin-Morris realize why attendance at his meetings has dwindled down, close to zero?


Patrick said...

He forgot "and if we get good math books we'll have to leave the heat off in all the schools all winter!"

n said...

One thing that disturbs me: Why were eleven schools already using enVisions and four MIF? If programs are going to be piloted, there needs to be an even playing field once the pilot is over. It gave the enVisions program a huge advantage cost-wise.

Can anyone explain that practice to me? Piloting is fine but those pilots need to compare similar populations equally. Honestly, no wonder the bureaucrats who manipulated the MAC wanted this result.

And as for the MAC, I do blame them a little because Rick said he was in favor of MIF but apparently didn't want to be combative about it... Folks who serve on these committees need to speak up and have the courage to confront SPS staffers. You never know what motivates a staffer to manipulate a process.

That's a concern as well.

Anonymous said...

@n: EnVision has a lot of EDM type problems in it. It's a lot better than EDM - a lot - but still has a fair amount of wordy problems and discovery/inquiry, touchy-feely stuff. My guess is that Principals chose something that didn't radically depart from EDM, especially for the sake of struggling kids.

Furthermore, the Principals all lined up and supported EDM 100% several years ago, even though we all know it sucked. Why? Because MGJ was the SI at that time, and they knew - as Mirmac1 says - which side of their bread was buttered. You do what you're told if you want further promotions. Principals know better than to test that policy in SPS.

Anonymous said...

WSDWG above.

mirmac1 said...

Millions have spent on PG&E, training on PG&E, lawsuits, data dashboards, all sorts of garbage that does not translate into direct instruction. HMM tried smokescreens to say that C&I is more teachers than textual materials. Then I guess we should just keep EDM and fire all the K-5 teachers, using his logic.

Anonymous said...


Yes waivers could have well been considered I equitable. PTSAs who busted their backsides to pay upwards of $40-50K PE year to attain them and other schools with no PTSAs to meet let alone, fundraise.

Tonight the statement was made and waivers will be given "as appropriate" by staff whatever does that mean? Devil's in the details - Martin-Morris responded to several inquiries re Math Adoption that system was inequitable - and probably was, but with one curricula now w/ MIF, all kids get a chance. So tonight, instead of his email argument on equity, he pulled out "it's not the curricula, it's the teachers that will be the success oe failure "shiny new books". --- so I guess them that EDM, is not an acknowledged failure as a Cuuriculumn, but it's those darned teachers. If I were a teacher, I'd be be justifiably outraged by his comments this evening.


Gads said...

Who cares that the data center is underfunded? If the city/state wants data, let them pay for it. It is time to keep dollars in the classrooms. Last check, the dept of research eval and assessment was funded at $3M.

Adopting materials is atleast one way to keep dollars in the classroom.

Disgusted said...

Mayor tells district they are not doing well with the gap. Might be a good idea to tell the mayor: You didn't do a good job of funding education when you were in Olympia.

Anonymous said...

EnVision has lame videos that the kids hate after a year of watching them. That's the visual? After 2 years of the videos, kids groan and balk at having to view them. Not friendly to ELL - questions are deliberately tricky, not focused as much on the math as on reading the question OR the directions.
As for Pearson and "fidelity" - run as fast as you can away from that.

Ugh Pearson