First, the speakers list is full with nine people on the waitlist. The overwhelming number of comments are to be about the math adoption.
Next, on the K-5 Math Instructional Materials Adoption, there are many new additions. The BAR is now 23 pages long. To note:
- In response to MAC members’ concerns around cost, staff provided cost information to the MAC and directed the MAC to take it into consideration
it was reiterated prior to beginning deliberation that cost should not be considered as a primary criterion for ranking.Because committee member’s expertise was not primarily on cost or budget, Based onAssistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Michael Tolley ’s directivedirected, MAC members to evaluate each were instructed to only evaluate eachprogram only on merit, not overall cost.
- NOTE: A Mminority reports from one four members of the committee is are attached. (Attachments 16)
- have to renegotiate contracts ("with costs likely to go up"),
- find an equitable process for schools to select materials (which I don't get - they choose one or the other, no?),
- figure out professional development for two programs and
- there is "substantially increased risk of programs not being in place" for next year.
Then there is the first amendment from Directors McLaren and Peters (and my apologies, I may have said it came from Peaslee). I suspect that they will withdraw this one in favor of their second one.
I find the staff response less than compelling simply because it is not that easy to read. Why there isn't a chart to clearly show the figures is beyond me. I am also not moved by the "impact on teachers in schools with high mobility" but not because it isn't an issue. I'm sure it is. But the staff gave zero data on how many students this might be and I think that is because it is likely a low number.
Then they get to my favorite issue which is "the integrity of selection process." It's my favorite because honestly, you can never tell when staff will support a committee's work or when they will ignore it. My experience is to ask, "what is the outcome staff wants?" and that will let you know how much they favor a committee's recommendation or not.
Then they are concerned over principals making this decision -because it comes so late in the school year and it will be difficult to get input from the school community - by themselves. Look, if parents and community had wanted to give input, they would have done it during the process. I think that, just like how staff treats committee recommendations, that most principals will go with what they and staff want. (And I have to smile that staff is very concerned over enforcement of the BLT rules when they turn a blind eye to what happens on those teams all the time.)
Then there is Amendment two, again from McLaren and Peters, to adopt Singapore Math. It is unclear to me when this amendment came onto the agenda (I believe it was today); there is no staff statement so far.
In the end, the question still is, what is the best math curriculum to advance academic outcomes for SPS students AND meet CCSS?
Given these items come at the beginning of the agenda, I would suspect a long discussion between staff and Directors and among the Directors themselves. In the end, I predict a 4-3 vote but I can't say for certain what they will choose to do.
One thing that needs to stop - staff cannot use "gotta get it done" as an reason/excuse over and over. Getting it right is more important than any timing especially for something as vital as math curriculum.