Friday, May 22, 2009

Every Day Math consumables

I watched the discussion of Every Day Math consumables from the May 20 board meeting last night, and I saw mostly good news.

Yes, a half a million bucks a year in K-5 consumables strikes me like plank in the face - but there are two things to consider about this:

First, as Ms delaFuente reported, there are annual consumables - presumably with similar costs - for the two material sets that the OSPI recommmends (she will follow up with more information after making further investigations). So while this price seems stiff, it may just be what these things cost.

Second, it isn't really a half a million dollars a year. The consumables for years 1 and 2 came with the original purchase. This is for year three. We will also pay for year 4, but years 5 and 6 will be free. So the actual price is not $500,000 per year, but $1,000,000 for years one through six, or, on average, more like $170,000 per year.

That's something of a relief, but the best news wasn't either of these two items. The best news was the Board discussion in which there was a lot of attention in three areas that could use it:

1. I heard Board members ask if the Singapore materials getting used and ask if they are being used as they should be used. Board members are suddenly making vague noises about accountability around this.

2. I heard Board members ask if it wouldn't be cheaper for us to just switch to Singapore?

3. I heard Board member seriously question whether we will stay with Every Day Math for another three years.

There was also some frustrating talk. Everyone seemed to back away from the EDM adoption saying "I wasn't here when this decision was made and I don't know what they intended or were thinking at the time." The lack of institutional memory is a real handicap. Unfortunately, the meeting at which the Board adopted these materials was conducted in secret and was not recorded. My, how that has boomeranged. Directors DeBell, Bass and Chow WERE at those meetings. They should know what they were told at the time and what the Board's intentions were. I don't think they do.

Maybe they should review their email from Dan Dempsey from that period. I'm sure it is full of references.


Jennifer said...

But, based on how many pages actually get used, the price is crazy! One major problem with EDM is that there are missing standards and many lessons addressing skills and standards way above or below the grade level (3rd grade with 8th grade material). If teachers are taking the curriculum and matching it to the standards (which they should be), huge chunks of the consumables aren’t being used. This is what makes the costs each year insane!

dan dempsey said...

Great Point Abby G.,

So are teachers matching instruction to the Standards?

Hey the teachers follow the EDM pacing plan fed to them by the district .. remember "Fidelity of Implementation" is the key to success.The question is does Central Math Admin modify the pacing plan to actually cover the Math Standards?
For 2008-2009 NO.
For 2009-2010 who knows?

In looking at Discovering Algebra the standards coverage will actually be as bad or worse than with EDM. Although the "Discovery series showed an 83.5% alignment score that bears little resemblance to what is needed to actually master "Authentic Algebra" material.

Here is where the mathematically unsound rating kills any hoped for rational plan. As RBHS math teacher Mike Rice said: there is not enough practice.So where is the pacing plan for Discovering Algebra? Once again four directors bought a pig in a poke.

The district that preaches achievement gap reduction but continually fails to deliver in math, chose to disregard the testimony of three math teachers from SE Seattle high schools.

As Tara Gallagher said: State Board of Education says: Mathematically Unsound..... Seattle says: adopt.
In regard to the missing meeting of 5-30-2007 that was never videoed ...State law requires an audio recording of all school board meetings. Marty McLaren took two 120 minute audio cassettes to Ms. Pamela Oakes on Monday afternoon. We are waiting for copies of the audio from that Elementary Math adoption action meeting.Good thing Ms. Santorno is headed to Tacoma ... I think the contents of the recording from 5-30-2007 will support Charlie's contention that there was an organized plan to avoid implementing the school board's action plan of 5-30-2007.

Will we find Rosemary Wood's did the recording and the tape has a 17 minute gap? Of course not ... these folks are NOT crooks.

Every conspiracy usually has a leader. ... your guess is as good as mine.
Speaking of Directors reviewing email from me. They might look for the communication where I reference:

Ms. Santorno invited me to meet with her rather than sending emails. I sent her a list of questions that would need answering ... so then she refused to meet with me .... supposedly because I was rude and impolite .. she said I was likely mistreating her because she was a black woman.I found this claim beyond bizarre. At the time I was a Seattle NAACP member and a regular attendee at monthly NAACP meetings and education committee meetings. I sent a full report of Ms. Santorno's refusal to meet and discuss prominent Elementary Math adoption concerns to all 7 directors and Superintendent Manhas and received no response from anyone.

The union president Wendy Kimball contacted Ms. Santorno. Wendy said that Ms. Santorno was still refusing to meet with me.... but Wendy had managed to get a commitment from Carla to meet with me after 5-30-2007. Carla was really busy prior to 5-30-2007 but could fit me in in early June.

After the victim is run over and killed, the victim does not care if the killer shuts the car engine off at a later time.

I declined the Early June meeting.

dan dempsey said...

A bit more data from our reform math agenda in regard to achievement gaps.
Reading Gaps shrink as Math gaps grow:

The Seattle School District has closed the achievement gap in reading for Black and Hispanic students.

A comparison of the average of the first two years of WASL testing with the average of the last two years, gives the following gaps changes:

Reading Gap

Black 10th grade shrinks by differential of 17.8 points

Black 7th grade shrinks by differential of 9.2 points

Black 4th grade shrinks by differential of 14.45 points

Hispanic 10th grade shrinks by differential of 10.05 points

Hispanic 7th grade shrinks by differential of 0.15 points

Hispanic 4th grade shrinks by differential of 7.85 points

Something is seriously wrong with Seattle actions in Mathematics.

Math Gap
Black 10th grade grew by differential of 13.70 points

Black 7th grade grew by differential of 11.70 points

Black 4th grade grew by differential of 6.35 points

Hispanic 10th grade grew by differential of 6.30 points

Hispanic 7th grade grew by differential of 16.60 points

Hispanic 4th grade grew by differential of 7.80 points

Current Gaps for Spring 2008

Black grade 10 .. 21.70
Black grade 7 .. 34.80
Black grade 4 .. 31.00

Hispanic grade 10 .. 18.30
Hispanic grade 7 .. 35.10
Hispanic grade 4 .. 27.20

Black grade 10 52.30 +30.6
Black grade 7 48.60 +13.8
Black grade 4 46.30 +15.30

Hispanic grade 10 29.90 +11.60
Hispanic grade 7 47.70 +12.60
Hispanic grade 4 40.40 +13.20

The + numbers are how much greater the math gap is than the reading gap.

Dorothy Neville said...

Dan, here's something you can probably weigh in on. At that family engagement thing at the district HQ last week, I attended the "help your child with math" session for middle/high school. I did not out myself as a math tutor or anything, just answered what they asked, that I am a parent of a 10th grader.

Anyway, in terms of assessments, I was told that the important assessment, NAEP, shows Washington is improving. So regardless of the wasl and all that hooey, we are on the right track, curriculum-wise.

I, um, would need to do some research to see if there's any validity to that argument.

dan dempsey said...

Yes we are showing NAEP improvement as a state and as a nation. The question is how significant is NAEP.

Nationally NAEP scores improve at lower levels but remain virtually unchanged at grade 12.

The most recent TIMSS showed some very small improvement for the USA.

Many attribute these changes to the increased emphasis on higher quality teachers and NCLB inspiring schools to focus more time on math instruction. To think that the increasing penetration of Reform Math materials is the cause seems to confuse correlation with causation.

In regard to disadvantaged learners making recent significant NAEP progress in WA at either grade 4 or grade 8..... I think NAEP shows it is not happening.... and in the SPS the WASL math gaps usually widen.

dan dempsey said...


Just looked briefly at 2007 NAEP report for WA in grade 4 and in grade 8 from 2005 to 2007 we are classified as No significant change in math achievement. About half the states showed significant improvement at grade 4 (but not WA) and about half showed significant improvement at grade 8 (but not WA).

We are being blown into the weeds by the internationally competitive math taught in other countries.

The state of MA chose to be tested as a nation in the most recent TIMSS and while MA looks a lot better than the USA. At the highest levels of proficiency MA is getting totally smoked by the really proficient math nations.

Pick up any of the adopted math texts approved for use in the SPS... the outcome is obvious as lack of content = poor results. duh???

So Dorothy, I find that WA is definitely improving in its ability to discriminate against ethnic minorities through Math practices. Is that what district family engagement specialists were reporting on when saying:
in terms of assessments, I was told that the important assessment, NAEP, shows Washington is improving.In fact at grade 8 from 2005 to 2007 WA NAEP scores for Whites improved 1.86 points but for Blacks dropped 1.10 ranking WA a pathetic #36 out of 41 states for gap reduction as gap increased by 2.96

For Hispanics the Gap grew by 0.96 ranking WA #26 out of 36 states.

For grade 4 from 2005-2007 WA NAEP scores for Whites improved by 1.58 points but for Blacks dropped 8.86 the Gap increased by 10.44 rank WA #43 out of 43 (dead last).

For Hispanics the Gap grew by 0.96 ranking WA #29 out of 43.

Did these family engagement experts actually present data at this meeting or was it the usual results show that blah blah blah?

From his Everyday Math adoption support in 2007, I realize that Mr. Bernatek is an expert Cherry Picker of data. I was just wondering what data they showed if anything.

Thanks for the latest update on how the Central Office attempts to support their incredibly discriminatory Math Plan to Nowhere. Keep in mind that at grades 4 and 8 more states are reducing gaps than expanding them.Black 8th reducing 26 expand 15
Hispanic 8th reducing 20 expand 18
Black 4th reducing 22 expand 21
Hispanic 4th reducing 23 expand 19

In WA we expand them all, which the district's family engagement experts see as improvement I guess?

Dorothy Neville said...

Thanks, Dan. I tried to get that data myself, but my the site kept freezing up (I got a slow computer.)

dan dempsey said...


You inspired me to get the NAEP data. Finding it offering no support for the view expressed by the Family Engagement experts, I fired off a letter to some Directors known to actually respond to letters.
Dear Directors Carr, DeBell, and Martin-Morris, 5-23, 2009

I need your help in correcting the well established ongoing discrimination of educationally disadvantaged learners practiced by the SPS in mathematics.

It seems that those in positions of authority are in absolute denial of the ramifications of their actions as well as the relevant data.

As I have often said:
To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

You will find the WASL data attached and the NAEP data in the attached letter extremely relevant and yet continually ignored in SPS decision making. This allows an incredibly discriminatory system to continue unchecked.

Please read the attached letter and forward it to the parties responsible so that a response can be obtained. What is the NAEP data of which they speak?

Have these folks never read Project Follow Through?
Have they read NMAP page xxiii #27?

Thank You,

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

dan dempsey said...

Is this the NAEP data that showed improvement?

To summarize NAEP from 2005 to 2007 shows Achievement gaps all increasing in WA State.Black grade 8 increased by 2.96 ranking #36 of 41
Hispanic grade 8 increased by 0.96 ranking #26 of 38

Black grade 4 increased by 10.44 ranking #43 of 43
Hispanic grade 4 increased by 0.95 ranking #29 of 43

WA NAEP data changes from 2003 to 2007 increasing achievement Gaps:Black grade 8 increased by 4.02 ranking #39 of 41
Hispanic grade 8 increased by 5.93 ranking #36 of 37

Black grade 4 increased by 6.50 ranking #43 of 43
Hispanic grade 4 increased by 4.46 ranking #42 of 44

We’ve spent a 1 billion + on the WASL, so it must count for something.

We use the WASL for making HS graduation decisions (or at least in math wanted to until the Legislature realized the failure rates - both how big and how discriminatory they would be.)

Schools go into AYP management based on the WASL results not on the NAEP.

The 50% of students taking remedial math at community colleges is yet another indicator. I wonder if there are any racial data on that mix?

This again appears as the district Cherry-Picking test results, which I take to be a clear sign of both bias and desperation.
Please provide me with the data The District’s Family Engagement specialists used, while stating that the NAEP results are improved.

ParentofThree said...

So everybody catching onto the latest district tactic on Singapore materials.

They are saying teachers are using Singapore on the doc cams (hence why we don't need to replace them) and they are touting a link on the web site showing how Singapore is aligned with EDM.

Problem solved, full implementation!

Can anybody confirm that Singapore is being used in their classroom in any way shape or form?

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