He says that they are fast-tracking waivers because they have to place the orders next week. I pointed out that waivers certainly don't look to have been fast-tracked in the past.
He said that if they don't grant the waivers, they violate their own policy. Also not true. The district has never been in a hurry before.
He asked me why Seattle has such a conspiracy theory mentality. I said it didn't look like a theory if it's happening.
He said they don't have the money for Math in Focus. I said I believe it could be done. He shrugged.
So here's my take:
The Superintendent and teaching and curriculum staff regrouped after the Board meeting. (Maybe even before). But now their plan is to encourage/arm-twist principals into hastily convening BLT meetings in order to have staff (because not all schools have parents/community on BLTs even though that is required) say they want enVision.
Then, when they have the majority of elementaries wanting enVision, they will either go to the public (for pressure) and/or the Board and say, "What do we do? Spend money on a math curriculum that the majority of elementaries don't want?"
You can see how that would pressure the Board. You can see that if the Times suddenly has a story on math adoption, it will be to criticize what is happening.
I think we will be able to prove some of this. If we can, Banda may be in trouble.
Last word from District Watcher (who says it well):
Principals passionately want to use 1 of 2 math curriculums for their students, fine. Spend the money - that's what the money is for - materials and teacher development that best meet a student body's needs. But that should have been the case had EnVision been voted in and MIF relegated to 2nd. And it wouldn't have been. Hypocrisy, they name is Administration.
Truer words were never spoken.
End of update
Clearly, something is afoot over the math adoptions. I don't know what school principals have been told but I don't believe it was just some kind of update about the outcome of the math adoption vote. It's hard to say.
To note, I was very surprised at the Board meeting that there were 11 schools using enVision and 4 using Singapore (and what about North Beach? I thought they used Saxon.) Turns out that enVision was being piloted at several schools. Why is that? Why would the district pilot a math program that was on the table for adoption?
Here's what Lawton's principal had to say to his school community:
Math Adoption Committee Process
The School Board voted to adopt the Math in Focus curriculum, in a split and contentious vote, which was not the recommendation of the committee. A large number of elementary schools, including many in our Queen Anne/Magnolia cluster are looking to request a waiver to instead use the committee’s recommended curriculum: enVision Math.
This morning the staff met and were united in requesting a waiver to use the enVision Math curriculum. Here was the staff rationale:
- Differentiation is stronger/more supported in Envision
- Alignment to CCSS is strong
- Clear connections to literacy and other topics
- Belief in the process and the recommendation of the Math Adoption Committee
The waiver submission deadline is this Tuesday, and I would welcome the chance to hear from parents this weekend so I can share the feedback and input we receive with the staff.
I believe schools are being told they CAN request enVision. I am baffled where the money will come from. I also find it deeply worrying that, for years, some schools wanted a waiver and couldn't get one and now it seems that it will be quite easy.
As for Lawton's vote, I have several thoughts.
I can certainly see how teachers on the committee could feel betrayed and not heard. However that committee, by design, had other people with different backgrounds on it precisely to have fresh eyes look at these curriculums.
Lawton is saying that the dense text of enVision suits their community more than Math in Focus. However, I will once again say, when math is more about reading and writing than math - it's not math.
As for their last reasoning – fidelity to the Committee - I find that very troubling. That should NOT be a reason for any school to be granted a waiver. The SEA should issue a statement if they feel teachers have been disrespected in any way but teachers should not be rising up against the legally voted on by the Board adoption.