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Thursday, January 17, 2008

From OSPI - Math Forum at Roosevelt

From Dr. Bergeson, WA state Superintendent for Public Instruction:

I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite you to attend the K-12 Math Forum on January 22 at the Roosevelt High School Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

I will be providing a progress report on the math standards revision process, its impact on student assessment, and discussing future efforts to improve math curriculum and provide support for teachers.

Local educators, business and community leaders will also share their perspectives about statewide efforts to improve math education.

Share your comments and questions and learn more about the next steps to improve math instruction and student learning.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't afford the time or money to do more research than what is cited below, BUT

I have a gut feeling that the less money your family / household has, the less ability you have to fix the problems created by bad standards, no curriculum or mismatched curriculum, and blame-the-teacher pedagogy (which serves to distract the non professionals from the standards / curriculum mess).
In China, India, Russia ... people learn English to come here to study business AND MATH / engineering AND MATH / science AND MATH. Ms. Bergeson has been in charge while this state has created a global math goblin of Washington Math-O-Babble.

Tens of Thousands of OUR kids can't do fractions and decimals, or anything much harder, but their teachers can fill out forms attesting to completing some GLE / EALR Washington Math-O-Babble to keep bureaucrats at bay. The only reason affluent kids haven't been severely impacted is because ... their parents have the money to fix the Math-O-Babble problems !!!

Washington Assessment of Student Learning: Tenth-Grade WASL Results in
Spring 2006: Association Between Poverty and WASL Performance by
Race/Ethnicity

http://www.wsipp.wa.gov/pub.asp?docid=07-01-2205

anon-by-paycheck

Charlie Mas said...

My kids have been able to get through the CMP curriculum because I have been teaching them math at home in the evening.

They come home from school totally frustrated by their math class, and I have to teach them the algorithms and formulas. For example, they are expected to calculate the area of a circle but aren't provided with the formula. I provide it so they can solve the problems. Then we talk about pi, and one-, two-, and three-dimensional measures, and how the area of a circle has to be just under four times the square of the radius.

I can't imagine what is happening for students who don't have someone at home who is conversant with math. I suspect they are totally bewildered by the curriculum, material, and assignments. They don't experience much pain, however, because the class switches topics so rapidly that they never feel more than a few days behind. I can't imagine they are learning a thing.

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

I hope to see you at Roosevelt at 6 PM on Jan 22.

This forum looks like it will be an OSPI / SPS propaganda indoctrination session. If a forum is to include substantial time for public comment - it is highly unlikely this will occur at Roosevelt on Tuesday evening.

Consider the following:
----------------------------
I would like to take this opportunity to cordially invite you to attend the K-12 Math Forum on January 22 at the Roosevelt High School Library from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Dr Bergeson will be providing a progress report on the math standards revision process, its impact on student assessment, and "discussing" (No probably Telling not discussing) future efforts to improve math curriculum and provide support for teachers. (Support is unlikely to include teachable materials that will educate the students - but the teachers will be blamed anyway)

Local educators, business and community leaders will also share their perspectives about statewide efforts to improve math education.
( These will be people carefully selected by Dr Bergeson to laud her for a wonderously fantastic performance over the last 11 years If any data is presented it will be carefully cherry-picked and irrelevant. It will be very important that these speakers chew up most of the two hours - otherwise an outbreak of democracy might interrupt the fairy-tale. The last thing Dr Bereson would want is Reality impinging on Fantasy Land.)

Share your comments and questions ( in the 15 minutes that might be provided after 1 hr. 45 minutes of propaganda) and learn more about the next steps to improve math instruction and student learning.
------------------------------

Everyone should attend this forum it should be very entertaining as one of the featured experts will be Ms. Carla Santorno.

Will anyone who knows much about math or teaching it be there??
If so, it will be unlikely that they were invited by Dr. Bergeson.

Dr. Bergeson rejected all the well-qualified low bidders so she could spend in excess of $750,000 on this Math Standards rewrite and hired the Dana Center to continue the failing path she has put in place.

USA worst in Math in the English Speaking nations tested, thrashed by Canada. USA perfectly content to maintain the pathetic reform math status quo. Dr. Bergeson is the ultimate politician and a very poor instructional leader.

By the way Dr Bergeson hired a marketing-consulting firm to keep the public thinking correctly herded at these events.

More Math-O-Babble from the top at further incredible costs to produce no results. How could I not be there? - see you Tuesday evening.

dan dempsey said...

A friend points out that ....

...Textbooks are ridiculously expensive in the U.S.
Reason: Textbook publishers flatter and bribe the incompetent
people who select them.


Thus the proliferation of Math-O-Babble materials.

Worst in the English Speaking world and too proud to change.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what is happening for students who don't have someone at home who is conversant with math. I suspect they are totally bewildered by the curriculum, material, and assignments. They don't experience much pain, however, because the class switches topics so rapidly that they never feel more than a few days behind. I can't imagine they are learning a thing.

Charlie !! You nailed several home runs here.

1.) I've got around 90 high school kids who are quickly confused, befuddled, irritated, lost, ... FRUSTRATED. I had at least this many last year, the year before, and the year before.
This is anecdotal, but, of my kids who are doing o.k. a significant % have access to some family / whatever member helping out.

2. I'd heard the criticism of the curriculum jumping around so the kids could feel ... successful? not lost for too long? I'd heard that criticism AND it hadn't sunk in until I read your post today. No wonder over 90 of my kids freak out with completely simple equations involving area or surface area or volume ---- I KNOW their basic skills are horrible because I get to fix the horrilbe skills, if I want my kids to have a chance at making these simple equations work for them.

This is so wrong. It is wrong for the kids who don't even know how far behind they are, and it is realy wrong that the incompetents who've created this fiasco haven't been fired.

dan dempsey said...

Anon at 2:23 PM said...

....it is really wrong that the incompetents who've created this fiasco haven't been fired.

What is truly unbelievable is that the School Board still hangs on the words of Dr Bergeson and Ms. Santorno and Ms. Wise to guide us out of the mess they created.

Watch for further evidence of the Kakistocracy [ rule and decision making by the least able] at Roosevelt on Tuesday evening.

dan dempsey said...

Check the video that shows Dana Center experts training Bellevue employees on how to deceive the math public.

Bellevue Math Video at The Math Underground

or go direct
The video below from You Tube shows the Director of the Dana Center Uri Treisman and Phil Daro who is also from the Dana Center explaining how to mislead the public.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFuJ4RjAh6o

Anonymous said...

My son did an online math program (EPGY) at home through 5th grade and prgressed through honors pre-algebra before entering WMS this fall. I was planning on continuing to homeschool in math to avoid CMP, but due to some scheduling conflicts and praise of the math teaching staff at WMS, I decided to give it a try.

My son tested into pre-integrated. Much of the curriculum is repeat of what he already learned in EPGY pre-algebra, so it's interesting to see the difference in how a subject is taught. Through EPGY my son learned probability to the same level that I learned it in my college-level course. In CMP it's so simplistic it's silly. It's all just counting.

I keep waiting for the algorithm to show how to calculate the probability of getting two events in a specific sequence, but instead they just draw out all the possibilities and count them up. again and again....

At the same time I am noticing that my son did not retain as much as he should have through EPGY. There he was given the algorithm and problems to practice. If he mastered the problems he got to move on. It's pretty easy to get the algorithm and apply it, but I do see that he didn't always understand how the algorithm was derived. I would have liked a little more exploration of the proof of how the algorithm is derived.

I do the same as Charlie. Each night I review what my son is working on and show him the algorithms that simplify things.

It's a pretty big burden for parents, even for parents with a math background. There's a lot of math homework (more than any other subject) and it takes time to keep up with what he is working on.

I have yet to talk to a parent of a student in my son's math class that isn't reviewing their child's work on a regular basis. Yet, it is really the only class that I do it for. For other classes I just check to make sure he is doing his assignments.

Charlie Mas said...

I would like to make this clear: I don't go to my kids and ask to see their math homework. They come to me and beg me to help them make sense of it.

Usually I do it by providing them with the algorithm (such as the formula for the area of a triangle), I show them a quick proof of the algorithm, and I encourage them (to no avail) to write it down and keep it in a journal.

Sometimes I can't make sense of the work any more than they can. It is no exaggeration that a problem in a middle school CMP workbook has asked: "Which is greater, three or four? Explain."

This question - and others like it - brings my kids to tears. They don't expect to have to answer questions like this in middle school. This question should have been left behind in kindergarten.

I'm not sure how they are supposed to answer that question. I'm tempted to embark on a discussion of pure mathematics and the necessary artifice of numbers, but eventually settle for the idea that four has everything that three has and one more.

I'll tell you this, my kids have learned a certain arrogant brand of humility in which they acknowledge that they must sometimes submit themselves to authorities who are clearly idiots.

dan dempsey said...

Mr. Charles Mas,

Elegantly stated the following...

I'll tell you this, my kids have learned a certain arrogant brand of humility in which they acknowledge that they must sometimes submit themselves to authorities who are clearly idiots.

Now just think of how the teachers with degrees in mathematics feel when decision are made at the district level that seriously effect mathematics. It is ditto to the above only on a slightly higher level they must submit themselves to authorities who are clearly idiots.

--- Coming Rant Warning ----

At the Roosevelt meeting it was said that Seattle has openings for 9 math coaches ----
GET A CLUE people
no one likes this lunacy but a small cadre of loonies, which for no readily apparent reason is allowed to make decisions.

OH yes I forgot this is an Educational Kakistocracy and these folks are clearly the least able to lead so of course it would be their job.

Otherwise it would not be a kakistocracy and then where would we be? Oh my we might make some real progress.