Friday, January 25, 2008

High School Math Curriculum Adoption

The State of Washington will, in the coming weeks, determine the new K-12 Math Standards. They have a draft set that folks can review.

The OSPI has promised to name three curricula which they regard as roughly aligned with the State Standards and they will support. Districts will not be required to adopt one of these three curricula (yet), but the OSPI has promised support for these three, which, if it materializes, would be a strong incentive for Districts to select one of them. The OSPI has promised that there will be at least one traditional math curricula among the three for each school level.

Seattle Public Schools has recently adopted math curricula for middle schools (CMP II) and elementary schools (Everyday Math supplemented by Singapore Math). This year, the District will adopt a new high school math curriculum. The District's math curriculum adoption web page is horribly out-of-date, but it offers the best information publicly available on the topic.

According to that web page, the District is considering these three curricula for high school math:

College Preparatory Mathematics [CPM]: Algebra Connections, Geometry Connections, Algebra 2

Key Press Interactive Mathematics Program [IMP]: Year 1, 2, 3, 4

McGraw-Hill-Glencoe Contemporary Mathematics in Context [Core-Plus]: Course 1, 2, 3, 4

I hear that some schools are already using IMP and some are already using Core-Plus.

The Board has scheduled a work session on High School Math Adoption for March 12. Curriculum adoption is a Board level decision, but I don't believe the Board would even consider overruling a recommendation from staff. The Board will select a curricula this Spring and that curricula will be implemented in the fall of 2008. As with the middle school and elementary school math adoption, we can expect that high schools will be required to implement the selected curricula unless they get a waiver.


Anonymous said...

The implementation is key. CPM gets better results - I'm not a textbook salesman. This is a non-profit based in UC Davis and some of the best test writers in the country work here. It is ridiculous to adapt a curriculum for one year.

In Poway, CA Blackmountain Middle School eighth graders using cpm outdid their high school counterparts on the Golden State Exam. There were many outstanding scores. I've used CPM 1 in middle school with Latinoes and Filipinoes and they did great.


Its an easy to use format and the problems are tested and revised every year. They provide instruction for grades 6 through 12. Singapore is grades 1 though 12 and that is a huge advantage.

Parents from Muirlands in La Jolla preferred Saxon. I say go for it. They thought CPM problems were too easy and I agree most students are not willing to write about their thinking, just allow enough time for discussion. CPM is more than adequate and in the hands of an experienced teacher a title I classroom will outshine all others.

This is a program heavy on problem-solving methods and the visual models are fantastic. But don't get bogged down if you and kids don't understand everything - skip it and move on - chances are you won't need it anyway.

You will need to fly to get through all of course 1, but your students will be more than prepared for taking higher math. Bottom line CPM students do better overall and the UC Davis database is more robust than the one Core Plus advertises. I'm not sure why CPM is not used more - La Conner and Issaquah both had good success with it.

The problem is most sixth graders who've been through Excel, Everyday, and Terc will be left in the dust with this program unless you are a very careful teacher.

The majority of teachers do not understand that Saxon wrote his textbooks to show kids how to do math in their heads and he uses fractions, not decimals. His problems are full of tricks for solving problems quickly - the type of stuff you see in math olympiads and such. So there are two kinds of saxon kids - math geniuses because they learned the tricks and math slugs because they didn't get the right instruction and the first thing all of them do is reach for a calculator. A good supplement for these beginners is marcy cook materials. I could teach with Saxon - I can't stand Core plus, IMP, or Chicago Math.

Singapore kids will be bored with CPM. They've already seen it. Best to leave them in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I should add the biggest users of CPM are in the Central Valley. UC Davis gets feedback from teachers and students and they are great about reporting data. The training for each class is about one year and as I said before parents and students who've used it say it works.

Anonymous said...

Regarding implementation - First, Choose a program that makes parents and kids happy. Second, keep the kids in the same program for as long as possible. Third, Make sure the teachers can use it.

If they're sitting in the backroom making up materials as they go and the xerox is constantly breaking down, then you know you have a systemic problem.

If teachers and principals had been honest from the beginning, we would not be having a national crisis in public education.

Anonymous said...

Some of Charlie's points on intervention classroom chaos are direct hits -

pandemonium equals kids not learning, and too many of the more involved adults taking their kids from the public schools, leaving a worse ratio of more involved adults to brats.

fri p.m.

Anonymous said...

Are you selling textbooks? What's your point? Are you a trainer?

Jet City mom said...

I see that the lake washington school district announced that 4 of its schools won honors in an American math contest- an international math competition.
Eleven Washington state schools qualified for honor roll.

The lake washington district uses CMP math curriculum according to their extensive website.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you find out and tell us what else Lake Washington teachers are using? Because its not only CMP (Connected Math) - What textbooks are the students using in fifth grade might I ask? I thought UW had a partnership or something or rather with some of these schools? Do you know anything about that?

Are students allowed to take the CMP booklets home? Usually teachers provide packets and worksheets for their students, but it is not necessarily CMP. Some of the teachers I know supplement CMP with traditional textbooks like Saxon or Addison-Wesley. Do they also use any Dale Seymour materials.

How often is CMP used in the classroom and how much tracking is there?

I don't mean to pry, but what is the LWSD program at site 88 - the latest figures are from 2004 and show 32 students enrolled with a 100% annual dropout rate. Title I?

Certainly comparing Redmond to Seattle is like apples versus oranges.

Are you a math trainer by any chance?

Anonymous said...

I might as well mention Treisman because I really did admire his writing when I was in school - it is compelling. But I realize now that that his research was with mostly college students and the high schools he initially used were attended by some of the wealthiest Hispanics in Los Angeles. Some of the students drove Porsches to school. Many did not even speak Spanish.

I have two theories as to why he was successful. A - His subjects were raised on Dulciani and Saxon books and they really knew math. B - He was observing students who were in that upper college track, because they were the most stable population at the school.

The standardized textbooks don't belong in Title I classrooms. They should not be using Title I funds to buy textbooks and pay trainers -that money comes out of the general fund and these textbooks are not supplemental curriculum.

Furthermore, the graphing calculators are an absolute necessity for Core Plus material. This is clearly the most expensive curriculum and the least effective. And yes, the teacher bless their heart is tethered for most of the period to his own graphing calculator, attempting to show students which buttons to press.

There is usually a 5 minute warmup with practice for a standard. One school has a set of 3 ring binders - and yes, the problems really start out with third grade and go up to eighth grade.

As far as failing students - you will observe three levels in classrooms -
1. defiance caused by frustration
2. depression caused by fear
3. addiction needed for escape

You will need to treat all three and for each year it lingers, it will take two more years to educate. And that's an average.

At some point the state, not OSPI, will have to step in and decide the health consequences for teenagers far outweigh the academics, which so far only amounts to a molehill.

Anonymous said...

My first five years we used Connected Math - I supplemented it with a variety of material, such as Math with Pizzazz and we also used a traditional textbook and piloted units for curriculum writers. Toward the end of five years I rarely used Connected math except as enrichment.

Anonymous said...

Another Lake Washington School?

Otteson Elective H.S? Not sure if it still exists - last information I have is from 1999...

243 students 88% white

10th grade wasl:
22% reading
17% math
13% writing

Jet City mom said...

I lived in the lake washington school district during the 60's and 70s but didn't recall a school by that name.
I did find this regarding Otteson school however, if that helps

There are a few Washington State high schools with vocational training as
their primary mission. Otteson High School, on the campus of Lake
Washington Technical College in Kirkland, allows students to earn a high
school diploma while working on an Associate of Applied Science degree from
the technical college. The school is run by Lake Washington Technical
College and funded by the state. In addition to the regular high school
curriculum, Otteson students also take classes in one of five main
vocational areas: business, health, technical, transportation and the
service industry. Within those five areas there are 39
occupational-training programs. For information about admission to Otteson,
call 425.739.8107. Similar high school programs are also run by two other
state-funded technical schools: Clover Park Technical College and Bates
Technical College, both in Tacoma. Snohomish County's 14 school districts
have formed a consortium that runs a vocational high school called the
Sno-Isle Skills Center.

It sounds similar to the Bright Futures program at Seattle Vocational Institute

Anonymous said...

Ottison Elective HS was a dropout intervention program. Note the word "elective" meaning that they are electing to stay in school after having dropped out or been at risk to drop our. 22% pass rate is actually quite high for these children. These are the same type of kids that we in Seattle, shuttle off to Marshall.

Not fare to compare this school. Please, come up with something better.

Anonymous said...

The curriculum in official use in a school doesn't necessarily represent what's actually being taught in every classroom. You'd be surprised how many math teachers (and others) cling to ancient textbook sets that they can't get new copies of.

Moreover, math teams often work from different curricula or problem sets especially provided for that kind of competition, and many of the students on math teams have parents who are also accomplished at math and have taught them a good deal at home. So the success of a math team, while honorable, doesn't necessarily represent success at every level in math, any more than the success of a football team represents general excellence in PE classes.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

math teams ??

check out thomas jefferson high in federal way!

because of the math team the most competitive kids in the district go to t.j., so a subset of their math scores are off the charts.

when you get out of the club into the general population, you have the same problems with wasl failure as you have anywhere - the lower the income, the higher the likelihood of failing.

the fwps headquarters administration does excel at blaming teachers, however.

Anonymous said...

anon 6:24 - you missed the point regarding Otison. The point is not that Redmond doesnt have high test scores. Otison was an alternative for students (if they had low test scores?).

There are 500 fewer students in 2006 than 2005.

Using 2006 data, the total population was 23,800 students - an estimate of the number of blacks and hispanics is 700 students (11% of 23800 of 4/12)

Including 9th graders attending junior high - there are actually 514 black/hispanics which resulted in about 200 students unnaccounted for or a 40% loss or 10% per year.

In addition, I counted 4236 students in grades 9-12. Since the population has been stable for the past 10 years (about 500 students plus or minus) lets assume an equal population in each grade level - 7933 students grades 9-12 That's a deficit of 3697 students or a 2.8% drop per year in student enrollment in grades k-8 or 23% disenrollment overall.

Proportionally, the rate of disenrollment for blacks/hispanics is twice that for overall disenrollment.
About 1 out of 4 students during primary school will leave the district before the end of eighth grade.

Lets say 100 out of 1000 students are black or hispanic - 70 of those 100 will finish 8th grade in Redmond; and only 40 of those will graduate from Redmond by grade 12.
40/800 = 5% Hispanic/Latino by the end of Grade 12. Or about half the Blacks/Hispanics who start in Redmond, actually finish there.
In my notes:
1. No data for OJH
2. No WASL scores for OTGR. 62% Math WASL. 30% Title I
3. KJH 35% Title I 60% Math WASL
4. KKJH 25% Title I 68% Math WASL

I'm surprised the district has only one middle school and so many junior highs.

Jet City mom said...

Lake Washington doesn't have middle schools, because their elementary schools go to 6th grade- like in the olden days, before all those kids in elementary school didn't make it to high school, so the high schools were half empty.m

Anonymous said...

Knowing how many seniors actually graduated from Lake Washington School District in 2006 would give you a final estimate for the overall turnover of students, which for a district of this caliber is high.

Observation has already shown CMP would not be utilized as a core curriculum in districts that use junior high schools. The sixth grade teachers would not be willing to implement a reform by themselves. The ninth grade teachers would be unwilling to implement a reform by themselves.

Is the elementary curriculum Everyday?

There's a large overlap in grades 9, showing at one point the district was in the process of making a transition during Caught in the Middle, but never finished.

The largest turnover of students disenrolling and teachers is probably grades 9 and 8 respectively.

In addition, the amount of Title I is miniscule in LWSD and consequently their experience with school site councils is limited. Principals rely on foundations and parent groups for supplementing their education programs. Its a different fiscal model than used in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Core 1 - what do platonic solids have to do with the WASL?

Nothing - Yet ninth grade students spend their last six weeks learning solid geometry - typically an eight grade topic.

Core 1 does not teach algebra. It leaves out quadratics. Core plus students get 2-3 weeks of practice with quadratics.

They learn to do simple factoring, but do not solve equations, except with the graphing calculator and the majority of problems are linear.

Its like learning how to bake a cake, by mixing the ingredients but then never using an oven to finish baking the cake.

In one eighth grade implementation, the teachers were not given graphing calculators. two thirds of the children elected to take Core 1 over again! I can't believe they actually did - imagine what that 9th grade class would look like after 2 months.

Anonymous said...

Classof76 - So what I hear is everyone goes through grades 7 and 8 together - grade 9 at the junior high is the vocational track. Grade 9 at the high school is the college track?

dan dempsey said...

Will the Sub-Prime Math Melt Down Continue?

Anonymous said...

You know food stamps are charity are great... but what Latinos and African Americans want is an education. LISTEN to them. Adopt a coherent academic program that kids can understand and you will be finally sending the kids to college who need it the most.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider a 22% graduation rate an effective intervention program. Does Redmond? Your reference to 'these kids' as just like the kids at Marshall suggests they are different from other kids? Were they placed there as a result of their behavior, WASL score, or ethnicity. What you would like prove is a correlation between WASL scores and behavior, just as textbook consultants have attempted to prove a correlation between standardized textbooks and WASL scores. Both of these assumptions are flawed. You cannot design a study that will prove either one is true. At USC the number of controls for such a study would exceed 50, probably a 100. You would be laughed out of your department. The idea that a group of professors could fill out a survey of textbooks and call it a study is equally laughable. Surely you are joking...

The person who correlated the WASL to your standards is the same person who evaluated the curriculum back in the early 90's and is the same person evaluating the effectiveness of your MSP in North Puget Sound. Doesn't that sound biased to you.

Anonymous said...

the only people that benefit by making this a religious war are the standardized textbook people. They would like to portray this as an unending struggle between two ways of thinking. There are two things preventing Seattle from having great academic programs. Leadership and curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Here's an example of an 8th grade world class standard - for purposes of Washington's students we'll make it 9th grade.

Solve a system of equations involving a parabola and a line. Identify the points of intersection. List the possibilities.

Only two textbooks have a curriculum that will teach that standard by the end of the school year - CPM 1 and Singapore.

Traditional textbooks will also teach it, but not with the same approach. CPM 1 and Singapore use thematic-based teaching. It builds as it goes.

IMP/CPMP/Core Plus use a different approach that is investigative. Its meant for enrichment.

You can discuss all the standards you want for many years to come, but its the methodology that you should be addressing - what is the student outcome after a year's worth of teaching. Can students use their methods to tackle problems involving all kinds of numbers? Currently students are instructed with whole numbers because they are taught to do division with partial quotients and multiplication with binary multiplicaton. Its not right.

Jet City mom said...

So what I hear is everyone goes through grades 7 and 8 together - grade 9 at the junior high is the vocational track. Grade 9 at the high school is the college track?

I don't know anything about college tracks

The Lake washington school district does not have an enrollment policy as open as Seattle.
If you attend Rose Hill jr high as I did, ( 1st full graduating class ) from 7-9, you then attend Lake Washington high school which is 10-12.
When Juanita high school opened , it was 9-12, as well as modular/open concept, but it has since gone back to 10-12 grades and more traditional classrooms.
Eastlake high school and Redmond high school also begin at 10th grade, so your information about a college track beginning at 9th grade in a high school building is wrong.

I spent my last two years at BEST high school , which is the LWSD, reentry/alternative high school.

I don't know the details from my era- but currently BEST has a graduation rate of almost 40%- contrast that to Seattles reentry high school- Marshall had a graduation rate of 12%.

Those stats are from 2006, when BEST had 188 students enrolled & Marshall had 32 enrolled

Charlie Mas said...

When reviewing NOVA as a possible high school choice for my daughter, I was surprised to see that the school had a 59% graduation rate. I asked about it at the school's open house for prospective students and, while no one could say exactly, the consensus conclusion was that 59% of NOVA students graduate in four years. A significant number of NOVA students graduate in five years and a number of them graduate in three years. There is also a liklihood that the three year graduates contribute to the school's reported 26% drop out rate.

These graduation rates may not tell the whole story and should be closely questioned.

Rainier Beach got off the improvement list when they successfull appealed their reported drop out rate.

Anonymous said...

The information I used was from the OSPI website (grades 9-12) so that's interesting - but the senior high school (grades 10-12) concept is from the first reform nation at risk when junior highs, gained acceptance - later the reform was for middle school 6-8 and that's the reason Connected Math is how it is. The schools that had the greatest difficulty implementing CMP were junior high schools.

The booklet concept was based on six strands addressing content (NCTM standards). An attempt was made to add a seventh strand (discrete) but it failed. The thought was you could teach the strands in any order you preferred because as a middle school math teacher you were teaming with other content areas - English and Social Studies.

IMP/CPMP/Core Plus/CMP are investigative units and the biggest criticism from evaluators and developers was that they were too similiar.

CPM is influenced more by japanese methods of teaching - it focuses on the methods of solving problems and cognitive models (using algebra tiles) and actually traditional textbooks are similiar although not as clear on the process as cpm or singapore. The common euphemism for TT is a 2 page spread and its explanations of important concepts are incomplete.

As an example, in two years of traditional algebraic instruction and focused on methods, students will encounter at least 10 ways of solving a system of equations. Most of those methods are in Algebra II, and rigorous instruction begins in 7th grade - identifying patterns and graphing.

Core Plus students will only learn two algebraic methods, including one that is non-standard involving the use of a graphing calculator and the trace key.

Core plus students even after four years of instruction will only be able to solve systems involving two variables and with special constraints - for instance, they will have great difficulty encountering problems that require manipulation of fractions.

They will have little or no experience with other types of equations - hyperbolas, parabolas, exponents, logarithms, circles, etc. A physics teacher warned me that he spends two months teaching algebra before he attempts kinetics with his students.

Back to middle school 101 -- So if you did a unit on the legends of king arthur - you would choose the strand that you felt best matched the team's theme. That was the structure behind Caught in the Middle.

The idea of teaming was rejected by high school teachers, because they are content driven and departmentalized. So you have two very different types of organizations and it is a test of wills when it comes to developing standards. Middle school teachers are always outnumbered, but they come armed to meetings with their portfolios and knuckles dragging and it is an impressive sight.

The schools that resisted change most were naturally the schools with the best test scores and they continued teaching with traditional textbooks.

You couldn't have done the last reform with junior high schools and CMP.

Anonymous said...

The new OSPI draft #2 Standards rewrite has been tailor made for Connected Math at grade 7. In fact 6, 7, 8 standards match CMP2 explicitly. Here are the
8 booklets that are covered in 7th grade:

Intoducing Algebra

Understanding Similarity

Ratio, Proportion, and Percent

Integers and Rational Numbers

Linear Relationships

Three Dimensional Measurement

Probability and Expected Value

Describing Variability and Comparing Groups

It appears that Dr. Bergeson picked her rewrite team and hired her guys at the Dana Center to give us more of the same in a more user friendly package. Such a deal we are getting and for less than $2 million. I hope the legislature is awake. I thought we were to be departing from the strategies that brought us the great math meltdown.

Wishful thinking on my part.

Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Naturally, any school will present itself in the best possible light. I'm no longer familiar with the NOVA program - I had two friends my age who attended and they enjoyed it.

The graduation rate of a high school is a snapshot of a moment in time. It does not say how many of the group attended all four years, nor how many people left the program during those years. It won't tell you much about the quality of the program, except possibly if you knew how many went to college. Students that are successful at NOVA probably have an extra motivation to do well. In 1970, the idea was to attract talent, so it is a magnet program, and not a support program.

Five years is too long to be enrolled in a high school - you might as well enroll in community college. A GED is no better than an eighth grade diploma. Students that graduate in three years are not counted as dropouts.

The best predictors of academic success are SAT test scores - but that doesn't predict your success in life, nor what you do with your life.

Anonymous said...

That's right. Data distributions is actually a rehash of a sixth grade unit only with team-building activities. Its designed to be used at the beginning of the school year.

Filling and wrapping was an eighth grade unit. Its CMP's response to Core 1's unit 5.

The reading level of CMP is much closer to the actual reading level of the students. But there are still alot of mistakes in the questions.

The actual methodologies for problem solving are up to the teacher. A novice teacher will leave it up to the students, but I think a more experienced teacher will take firmer control. Ultimately, you want students to practice certain methods - if you left it up to most eighth graders they would just guess and check to solve algebra problems.

This is considered a non-standard method and should not count as mastery of a problem. Core plus encourages this method by using the tables on the calculator.

So that's actually three methods Core teaches -two of them being non-standard. The variation of this method is an organized table and again that is a method normally taught in primary school, not high school, hence in 7th grade CMP/NCTM in 1989 called it patterns and functions. But I've seen it taught in traditional classrooms in the fifth grade as with Saxon.

Jet City mom said...

The best predictors of academic success are SAT test scores

Actually that is more of an economic indicator and the education level of your parents.

but that doesn't predict your success in life, nor what you do with your life.

I do agree with this.

Also GED is more meaningful than an 8th grade education, because with a GED you can enter college, not all schools require a diploma- many don't in fact as long as the other requirements are met. Many will require either the ACT or SAT for admission as a freshman or sophomore however.


Anonymous said...

sat scores was the result of a study with a sample using about 500? AVID students - parents level of education was second. I thought it was a pretty good study, but I'm biased. It was also published that students taking AVID for more than 4 years tended to get burned out.

Yes, the GED will get you into college, but I was using a study that an expert hired by the Gates Foundation did for Washington - and that was his criticism, not mine. His recommendation was to raise the standards for the GED to make it more competitive with a high school diploma.

Once again the issue really should be greater focus on curriculum. You shouldn't raise testing standards unless schools have quality academic programs. And the public opinion is that it isn't so, and they are absolutely correct.

Our teachers are as good or better qualified as a whole than any in the world - they work harder and train harder. They often don't share common preps and in Japan for instance, you work less and plan more. You are given wonderful textbooks and the students respect their teachers and the schools. This is vastly different in the US.

And the japanese have their ethnic problems too - their workforce depends on immigrants just like our own country.

China is right around the corner as far as an aging population is concerned.

Washington schools should focus on leadership and curriculum. If Seattle uses OSPI's standards you will have the same difficulties in Denver and its chaos down there.

New York discarded the Everyday Math curriculum - it proved to be a complete waste of time for students.

Anonymous said...

The community colleges do the right thing and place students into correct math classrooms with a placement test. High schools don't do that.

If your kid is constantly failing math, get them tested, they're probably not in the right class. A student with a GED has the motivation for getting an education, but its inevitable, they'll have gaps in their learning - probably math, since that is probably their reason for dropping out of high school or getting behind.

Math is a critical subject for high school success, but there are many other ways to learn math and you can still be successful in life. Alot of students that get their GEDs I find know how to overcome life's obstacles. They stay positive and if they're not satisfied with a teacher, they go somewhere else.

Jet City mom said...

community colleges do the right thing and place students into correct math classrooms with a placement test. High schools don't do that.

Depends on the public school. Although my daughter had never gotten below a B in middle school math- she was tested and placed in remedial math in 9th grade- and an additional support class to help her catch up- she is now at grade level.

Colleges and universities besides the community colleges- do use transcripts for placement, not only tests.

I didn't drop out of high school because of math, but because I was bored & I had undiagnosed/unsupported learning disabilties.

( Incidentally- both my daughters have learning disabilties- but my oldest had the opportunity to attend a private school that used university of chicago curriculum and she went on to take calculus/stats and o chem in college-
my youngest had teachers in public school who were weak in math- and even her math teachers in middle school didn't supplement the district curriculum & told the kids their parents wouldn't understand the homework.)

I took my GED without studying for it a few years later & started taking community college courses a few years after that.
Because I had not taken a foreign language past 9th grade, I was shut out from 4- year universities.

I now find it very difficult to learn a foreign language in order to meet university admittance requirements. We need to not just bring the level of math understanding up in the schools, but increase every students preparation for higher ed, whether they participate in AP or running start in high school and go on to college, or if they work for 10 years and then go to college.

Anonymous said...

Each person's experience is unique and I'm generalizing (shame on me). Its been my experience kids with learning disabilities will struggle most with math when they are mainstreamed, often they are not given the support needed to be successful. Private schools have small classrooms and I'm sure its an easier environment for a teacher than a public school.

Math teachers are not necessarily told. For instance, a student might have partial hearing loss. Simply putting the student in a better seat could have improved learning. In damp climates, around saltwater, juvenile hearing loss is a problem.

Most math teachers from grades 7-12are not trained to work with kids that have disabilities (they take one class on mainstreaming) - schools are reluctant to use IEPS, because they can be sued if they're not followed. Principals are aware math teachers are not always left-brain people.

Its more common that reading, english, and social studies teachers will have the special eduation credential and often they will have to teach the math classes for their students, mostly because they will be more effective with the student.

Math teachers know their subject area, but they are not always sensitive toward the needs or health of their students.

A student would already have to be proficient in math to do well in Chicago Math.

If this was a private school, was the elementary curriculum traditional - I'm thinking Saxon. The reading level for Chicago Math is moderately high and yes it would work in a private school where parents can afford to pay for extra support. Chicago math would tend to exclude new students attempting to transfer in from a public school, so that's something to consider. Chicago math would be a daunting task in a title I classroom.

And behavior should not be a prerequisite for success. Building trust with your Title I students is key to working with them. You can't build trust if the majority of kids are failing your class and they need to feel like they're learning something.

I remember early on grades were the biggest obstacle to winning a community over and eventually the community won and the teachers lost. That's how it should be.

Another concern are schools attempting to use WASL scores to prevent students with disabilities from getting services.

There are cases where isolated, disruptive students somehow cheated on the 7th grade WASL, so they were ineligible for services in high school.

Once again eligibility on a single number based on the outcome of a test, should be grounds for concern. This has not been news, but I think it should be. Why haven't we heard more news about this?

Students should be told before they take the WASL, that they might make themselves ineligible for services if they do well on the test. In this case, cheating is to the student's disadvantage and the school's.

In California, disgraphia is a common disability and students get IEPs. I have not yet visited a school in Washington that made student accommodations for disgraphia.

I thought your comments were great and I'm assuming we're referring to LWSD?

dan dempsey said...

It was said by anon.....

"..New York discarded the Everyday Math curriculum - it proved to be a complete waste of time for students."

9:15 AM

Please cite a source.
This is untrue. Many elementary schools in NYC currently use Everyday Math. Unless they received a waiver most are using it.

NYC EM advocates claim it is successful by looking at improved data but special accommodations doubled rendering looking at the data a joke.

Jet City mom said...

Im sure it made a huge difference for my older D to be in a small setting.

In K for example- she was in a 5's co-op program- with lots of parents- don't remember how( or if) they taught math. They didnt have homework- very experiential.

In elementary school she had two teachers who team taught the class and she had them for two years- reducing time lost getting to know the class.

( This was also a mixed age class- K thru 2nd grade- because of her gross motor delay and small size, I anticipated her being placed in the K grouping- but because it was a blended classroom, the age appropriate grouping worked)

I believe they used the Math Their Way program as well as games out of Family Math-The only tests they ever had were spelling tests- which she usually aced & math tests which she did Ok.

She has a computation disability- she has a hard time remembering simple math facts- like addition tables but can understand advanced concepts- but for example she might do a worksheet ( in grade school) of math problems and not only not notice that one line had 367 X 64 and the next had 64 X 367, but she would get two different answers.

For 3rd through 5th- she was in a new blended classroom & had the same teacher- again a plus because of the reduced transition time.

I think they stayed with the same math program- Math their Way and Family Math. So using these approaches enabled them to present algebraic concepts to 5 year olds.
Family Math especially is great.

( distinct math disabilites were apparent when she was tested at the UW at CDMRC- her overall score was very good- but some areas she was years below grade level, in spatial for instance I think)

I also have to point out that for our particular family- we recieved a great deal of financial aid for her to attend private school.

We are very blue collar low middle income- but we really had education as a priority & when despite her other problems, she seemed to have a lot of potential, we made sacrifices to make up the difference after aid.

We did look at SPS as I mentioned- but they were unwilling to have her participate in either gifted program or in special ed- she just didn't fit.

She stayed in private school ( again with a great deal of aid- this school also had a great learning support program- which was included in tuition) and the curriculum in her 6-12 school was Chicago- but there are so many I really don't know the differences. ( UCSMP)
She graduated in 2000 from high school- and they had three tracks of math- in 8th grade for example, she was in the middle track I think- & the book just was called algebra.

She took pre-calc- in 11th & a semester of stats in 12th. ( or maybe it was a year of stats in 11th & a semester of pre-calc in 12)

Because she took a year off before college- she retook pre-calc at a community college- in the summer, after freshman year, before she took Calc as a sophomore at her 4yr college

( some students in her major- took calc freshman year-her high school didn't have AP & she said that was a disadvantage when she got to college- however- virtually everyone- even if they had had AP Calc BC, retook Calc in college- because it was presented very differently. Calc was also lowest level math offered in college)

Im looking through the advanced algebra UCSMP book & it makes sense to me, which is more than I can say for some of the curriculum in SPS

I've made this observation before- but I think a huge difference in math performance depends on how much parents are able/willing to reinforce concepts or fill in the holes.

I still count on my fingers, so I am not such a resource, but for example some of her friends parents are physics professors at the UW, or have ph.ds in math and hold weekend workshops for their kids and their friends ( who all attend public schools)
Id like to see that sort of support taken into consideration when they look at what curriculum to adopt.

I am all for parents being involved with kids education, but IMO, learning should not be dependent on parents providing tutoring.

( these were both private schools in Seattle- UCDS & SAAS & Reed College is in Portland)

Anonymous said...

Sorry I got the news wrong - It was Treisman's home state as reported in the New York Sun

The state of Texas has dropped a math curriculum that is mandated for use in New York City schools, saying it was leaving public school graduates unprepared for college.

The curriculum, called Everyday Mathematics, became the standard for elementary students in New York City when Mayor Bloomberg took control of the public schools in 2003.

About three million students across the country now use the program, including students in 28 Texas school districts, and industry estimates show it holds the greatest market share of any lower-grade math textbook, nearly 20%. But Texas officials said districts from Dallas to El Paso will likely be forced to drop it altogether after the Lone Star State's Board of Education voted to stop financing the third-grade textbook, which failed to teach students even basic multiplication tables, a majority of members charged

Anonymous said...

November 20, 2007


One board member, Terri Leo, who is also a Texas public school teacher, called the textbook "the very worst book that we had submitted." This year, the board of education received 163 textbooks for consideration.

The board chairman, Don McLeroy, said the vote was part of a larger effort to prepare more Texas students for college. "We're paying millions of dollars to the publishing industry," Mr. McLeroy said. "We might as well get something back."

Texas officials said Everyday Math's publisher, McGraw Hill, began scrambling to keep its curriculum on the state's okay list the minute board members indicated they might vote it off. After concerns were first raised at a long meeting last Thursday, McGraw Hill officials arrived the next morning at 9 a.m. sharp with seven full sets of additions to the text, including new worksheets and teacher guides, state board members who attended the meeting said

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but i told you so. The publishers haven't got a clue, since they depended on the curriculum writers to sell their textbooks. What they should have done was go get a second opinion. This wasn't a math war it was a math hoax.

Anonymous said...

Math their way and Family Math were the early adoptions - my mother is now retired said she enjoyed using the materials. That was the first adoption that added manipulatives. An excellent program but expensive as I recall. Poway elementary school teachers use family math and do extensive trainings with it - all teachers go to math conferences during the year. This is grass roots, it is unfortunately not a part of the standardized curriculum and very difficult to implement in Title I schools.

Anonymous said...

Schools should take risks, because students won't and even if you could just count with fingers - why not take calculus? You should be allowed to take that class without the risk of failure. Its one of the greatest of inventions, and I'm surprised we leave it up to high school math programs to determine how much math we will encounter in school. Physics is a great subject when you have it taught well. Hewitt's book might have caused a revolution in education. He made science so easy. I still refer to its wisdom. Look at the number of editions that Resnick's book has undergone. Its original title "inductive approach" is what is lacking in most math programs. That was not by mistake and you have to look at the basic math assumptions of the time - when Project 2061 was announced and Mortimer Adler was at UC Chicago.

Anonymous said...

this will give you some idea of shame

To previous poster Jesse Arnett

In regard to your association with Everyday Math

It appears that one Melissa Arnett is a TX representative for the publisher of Everyday Math !

see www.sde.state.ok.us/pro/textbooks/textbook_pdf/publishers.pdf

Elizabeth Carson
Co-founder & Director NYC HOLD NATIONAL

The core plus representative (consultant) for this region will often begin his letters to the editor with retired school teacher and I have used Core Plus in my classroom. He also did the study your state uses to sell Core Plus to school districts. Its a hoax and furthermore his cousin runs the msp grant program that provides the school a fiscal incentive to buy the textbook - $5 and that gets pocketed by administrators as perks, since the oversight of grant money is questionable to begin with.

The California Technology Consortium (a private group of curriculum vendors) was under investigation for recruiting administrators to sell their products to school districts - . Excel math program was one of those vendors and it has absolutely no research to verify the claims its supporters suggest will result.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be great if there were classes you could just take for free - no failure. Don't put kids in classes they will learn to hate even more. At some point, I simply stopped enrolling my child in math and science and instead they took great classes in art, music, and drama and started loving school again. Don't be misled by administrators who want to keep their enrollment levels up. When my kids are old enough to attend community college, they'll get tested and placed in the correct classroom with traditional textbooks and enthusiastic classrooms. High school is a milestone, not a mountain. The best strategy is boycott classes. The majority of kids don't get past two years of math and science anyway. So why worry, work at keeping your gpa up and learn what a great teacher is.

dan dempsey said...

Well said:

Not a Math War

but a Math Hoax.

Yes indeed -- when checking any international math test results or looking at the decline in math competency of students entering college we are definitely the victims of a giant Math Hoax.

By we I mean an entire nation of dupes --- Duped by the reigning education Kakistocracy.

Thanks for pointing this out.

dan dempsey said...

Check the UW Education Department's latest nonsense Math Move here

Anonymous said...

What I understand is there is no budget allocation for textbooks at SPS? I will not be surprised if OSPI gives SPS a grant provided schools buy standardized textbooks - What are the odds it will be EM, CMP, and IMP?

So why standards? Why consultants? Why the WASL?

If curriculum is going to be imposed on communities, why not be honest, save some money and say this is not a Democracy. If public schools won't teach kids, then lets have schools based on race and call them equal.

The magnitude of violence in US schools is 100x the violence in other countries. Its not the kids, nor the teachers, its the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if you had schools for different races at least a Latino could get an education - provided you had Latino teachers and not just Spanish speaking, because most Latinos in US schools don't speak Academic Spanish. And they'd want textbooks that they could learn from. Not just learn about positive, whole numbers.

One principal I know at her school thought her Latino students spoke Spanish and gave them Core Plus textbooks in Spanish they couldn't read.

And worse they didn't get calculators, not even a certificated teacher. They were put in portables on the opposite side of campus on independent study programs. Their school had more babies born than the number of students they graduated. This number was definitely inflated because the turnover was more than 50% in one year. 17% looked reasonable, better than average but very doubtful.

Would OSPI or the DOE do anything? Not a chance. Textbooks are selected by local school boards, so if you want a white community, choose a standardized textbook, like EM/TERC/CPMP/CMP/IMP.

Why do you think parents have to demonstrate in front of the Capitol. If lawmakers don't respect the wishes of the people, they don't deserve to be in office.