Sunday, July 22, 2007

Math Wars (Continued)

This article about an outside math review for the state Board of Education was in the Times on Saturday. It does not bode well for students especially since the Board has approved the math curriculum.

From the article:

"Echoing concerns from a grass-roots parents group, Plattner also said Washington needs to be clearer about the need for students to memorize basic math facts and learn standard methods of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

"Washington's standards are too far on the conceptual side," she wrote."

From Superintendent Bergeson:

"Some of the recommendations of this new report, however, would increase the WASL's difficulty.

"If we move in the direction that this report wants to move in ... we're going to have a harder test," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson. "It's not going to solve the math-score problem overnight."

From the article:

"Plattner said Washington's standards, like many states, suffer from the widely discussed "mile wide, inch deep" syndrome, where teachers are expected to cover too many topics, without clear priorities. If teachers have a chance to teach fewer topics more deeply and completely, she said, then classes can be harder and students will learn more in less time."

"In the Seattle School District, administrators Michelle Corker-Curry and Rosalind Wise liked recommendations that Washington increase rigor in math and prioritize what's taught at each grade level.

But they questioned why Plattner didn't compare Washington with states with high math achievement, not just well-regarded standards. Washington, for example, scores higher than California in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP."

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