They also made it sound like the MAC recommendation was a done deal - when that was never the case - and it caught all these principals off-guard. Well, whose fault is that? Not the Board's.
Got some interesting e-mails in my most recent public disclosure request from Seattle Schools.
Director Peters had some back and forth with Michael Tolley over edits to the BAR on the math adoption. She had tried to get some edits in on-time about the math adoption BAR for the Board meeting but was told she hadn't gotten them in on-time so they would not be reflected until the next week. (The agenda was to be posted that day.) This was around May 16th.
Peters answers, saying that there appeared to be a "number of inaccuracies" and expressed concern over posting them. She had them in by 2 pm with a 4 pm deadline to post the agenda. She expresses her concern in another e-mail to the Superintendent.
The Superintendent answers back that what she submitted was too "extensive" and would take time for "staff to sort through." He said they were busy and it would not be possible to get them done before the 4 pm cut-off. Then, he says,
A special 2-hour meeting has been scheduled for Monday to thoroughly review your edits and make any adjustments that may be necessary.
Two weeks later, President Peaslee sends a long e-mail to Banda and Tolley about concerns she has over the pricing for MIF. She points out that staff took five weeks to respond to Peters' requests for the RFPs? The Board did not see them until after the MAC recommendation was made.
She has a long list including why the FAQ said MIF is "not synonymous with " Singapore Math when it is stated as such on MIF materials and the RFP.
It seems that there was some kind of "phone survey" of schools (and I assume that was principals?) and yet none of us was told there was one by anyone. She also references a dual adoption.
Mr. Tolley replies back that staff is working on "detailed and complete responses" to all questions and concerns and would have them to the Board by June 2.
What I find odd is that the issue of the legality of a dual adoption would have been one that could been easily put to rest early on and yet by May 30th, the issue of using a dual adoption was still up for discussion. That seems like a waste of time for all.
Another is an e-mail dated Feb. 27, 2014 between a woman from Mind Research Institute and the Superintendent. Their stated website mission is to "change math education in America." They sell a math program called ST Math. They are a non-profit with quite a varied list of contributors (none Gates or Walton).
Through our uniquely visual, non-language-based approach to teaching math — delivered through our ST Math instructional software — students across the country are deeply understanding math, developing perseverance and problem-solving skills, and becoming life-long learners prepared for success.
Fascinating given that staff wanted enVision which is much more literacy-based.
What was troubling was this from the e-mail from the ST woman to Banda where she says this (in reference to free PD to schools):
The schools will not be charged for any of this professional development however, they will need to provide adequate substitute time for teachers to participate in these trainings and agree to share data with the MIND team in regards to student outcomes and teacher surveys.
Of course, I would ask - what data, on who and how much? I appreciate they want to know how their ST math is working but again, we need to keep a tight lid on what data about students gets passed out.