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Monday, May 16, 2011

Michael DeBell on Reuven Carlyle's blog

Michael DeBell wrote a guest post on Reuven Carlyle's blog in which he says that students need to be threatened with the loss of their diploma if we expect them to take math and science education seriously.

This is the same man who will vote this week for a new promotion/retention policy that will remove all requirements on promoting students from grade to grade.

4 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm glad Michael says some of this outloud but Charlie is right; it's a little late in high school to be concerned.

He also says this:

"We test students a great deal these days so “test fatigue” is common."

Indeed and what are you doing about it? How are you making the testing worthwhile for both teacher and student?

Anonymous said...

Dorothy's comment (reposted from Carlyle's blog) really hit home with me:

"As a math tutor and a parent of an SPS alum, I suggest that every elementary and middle school parent whose child has been tutored in math should opt out of the math MAP and MSP. How else can we control for that variable? How else will we learn the effectiveness of school based Math education for students young enough so we can target remediation and support efficiently?

Without solid K-8 math skills, one cannot do solid HS science work.
"

We have been supplementing our children's math instruction for the past 3-4 years. We realized there was a problem when our newly-turned 3rd grader was solving [106-57 = ? ] using tick marks instead of the standard stacked subtraction/borrowing setup (or even counting up). Yikes.

Fast forward a few years and their [now] strong perfomance on the MAP or MSP only hides the deficiencies in the math curriculum that we've spent years supplementing.

I agree that success in science is tied with success in math - how can you balance a chemical equation without understanding algebra and how do you do unit conversions without knowing operations with fractions?

Intervention needs to start well before high school. Isn't this what purpose MAP was supposed to serve? Identify those needing interventions, and then providing them?

-Fed up

klh said...

This is my comment on Reuven's site -

Near the end of your piece, you mention that the lowest pass rates are for students identified as Black, Hispanic, Free and Reduced Price Lunch and English Language Learners. You then say, “I believe that these students will rise to the challenge as ably as their middle class peers if they get the extra tutoring and help they need and deserve.”

Why are you advocating adding extra testing without ensuring that the tutoring and help you recommend is in place first?

If we expect our students to graduate from SPS with critical thinking skills, our leaders must demonstrate those skills for them. I agree that the groups you mentioned can succeed with extra tutoring and help. When you put that in place, then I might support the idea of additional testing.

.

elhotrod said...

This is the same man who said to a room full of parents at McClure Middle School in 2010 that "a lot of teachers are slackers."