Seattle Schools Math Adoption

I am a bit late on this post but here is the latest.

As noted by one reader (I believe Lynn), there is a hastily scheduled Board Work Session on Math Instructional Materials Adoption tomorrow, the 6th from 6-7 p.m.   The agenda has no presentation so I don't know what kind of update it will be.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of the Math Adoption Committee is this Friday, the 7th, from 8:30 am to 3pm in the JSCEE Professional Library (I believe that is the second floor).  It is open to the public.  Sorry, no agenda available.

I am hearing -more and more- that all has not run smoothly with this Committee.  For example, they had rejected some people at the beginning of the process and then hastily added four more people at the last minute.

There were to be three math finalists but now there are four (due to a near-tie for two candidates).   It's interesting because there were three separate public inpubs - community on-line, community in person (those who came down to JSCEE to view materials), and e-mail. 

The four finalists are (in rank order):
1) enVision
2) Math in Focus
3) My Math
4) Go Math!

The last two are the virtual tie.  The first two received the "vast majority vote."  All four are being used throughout the state.  All seem to be much better than what is in current use.  (Another candidate - JUMP math did not make the list because it seems to not be "entirely" aligned to Common Core while parts are a work in progress.) 

All are saying they meet Common Core standards but it appears that that may be an albatross around the neck for any program.  It could be a great program but has to meet those CC standards or it is out. 

As I previously reported, per Board policy, these 4 will go out to the public and be reviewed  (they may go out to some schools and/or public libraries) .  The Math Adoption Committee will pick one and it will go to the Board for vote. 


Anonymous said…
enVision is a Pearson product....and not a great one at that. They'll claim that online access is "optional". Then later they tell you that much of content is only available online. For tech-rich districts, the amount of online access needed/requested is still pretty steep. For a tech-poor district like Seattle? It will be really hard to manage.

Greg said…
I'd favor the Singapore math-based materials (Math in Focus) and often am wary of things coming out of the Pearson corporation (enVision), but Melissa is right that any of these would be better than what we have now. I do hope they pick Math in Focus though.
Anonymous said…
CT - that hasn't been our experience with Envision over the past two years. We haven't had to do anything online at home. Envision had been such a relief after years of Everyday Math, but perhaps that would be true for any of these candidates.
Envision parent
John said…
I'll echo "Envision Parent". We haven't had to do anything online, though our child's teacher (5th grade) has sent links as supplemental reading. Maybe it depends onthe teacher.

I'll also echo that it looks great after Everyday Math, but that's a pretty low bar. So far we like it fine, though.
info please said…
Is the committee seeking feedback from Seattle schools that are currently using some of the listed programs? enVision @TM? MyMath @Lincoln? What is the feedback from teachers and parents? I'd be interested in middle school teachers' feedback - do students using enVision seem better prepared mathematically?
Karen said…
I'm curious if Linh-Co (sp?) or anyone has any comments on the effect of switching curriculums every year might have on my kid. If the answer is no effect, great, I am just curious.

Here's the scoop:

K - Saxon
1st - Everyday Math
2nd - 4 different curriculums due to school "trying" different ones.
3rd - MyMath
4th - TBD...Will the school switch again? Will they keep MyMath?

It seems to me some things might be missed due to the switching, but, again, I have no idea.

And, does this only address K-5? So, kids might switch again for a year or two and then switch to the CMP which is EDM continued, right? When is middle school going to be addressed? From what I read here, people seem to like CMP less than EDM.
Anonymous said…
The Math Adoption Committee (MAC) and the community (parents, teachers) voted on 8 candidates. Here are all the scores for the eight candidates.

These scores (rounded to nearest hundredth) were approved by the MAC on January 15.

MAC = committee members (N=27)
CI=Community Input
CI-W = walk-ins (N=122)
CI-OL = online (N=140)

Walk-in input: These are handwritten on a form, submitted at the JSCC library, where all the materials were on display during the comment period.

Envision Mth 2.96 2.35 2.02
Math In Focus 2.90 3.23 3.94
My Math 2.83 2.08 1.55
Go Math 2.81 2.91 1.08
Ready for Comm.Core 2.40 1.86 1.00
JUMP 2.13 2.88 3.98
Connecting Math Concepts 1.97 1.38 1.14
Origo Stepping Stones 1.96 2.00 1.23

signed, AKA
Anonymous said…
The Math Adoption Committee (MAC) and the community (parents, teachers) voted on 8 candidates. Here are all the scores for the eight candidates.

These scores (rounded to nearest hundredth) were approved by the MAC on January 15.

MAC = committee members (N=27)
CI=Community Input
CI-W = walk-ins (N=122)
CI-OL = online (N=140)

Walk-in input: These are handwritten on a form, submitted at the JSCC library, where all the materials were on display during the comment period.

Envision Mth-------------2.96---2.35---2.02
Math In Focus------------2.90---3.23---3.94
My Math------------------2.83---2.08---1.55
Go Math------------------2.81---2.91---1.08
Ready for Comm.Core------2.40---1.86---1.00
Connecting Math Concepts-1.97---1.38---1.14
Origo St. Stones---------1.96---2.00---1.23

signed, AKA
Linh-Co said…

What school does your child attend? And why did the principal allow "trying" 4 different curricula in a single year?

The lack of coherency and different approaches would not be ideal for any students. It sounds like your school/staff does not have a plan in place for math? I would ask your principal for an all school math discussion involving both teachers and parents.

There are a few schools with math waivers. Schmitz Park and Boren STEM are the only schools with official waivers. This was the response we got from Shauna Heath when we asked about the 18 elementary schools using materials other than EDM:

"1. Schmitz Park was grandfathered in prior to the revision of the Policy 2020 and they have received district funding for textual materials per Cathy Thompson. They have a waiver on file. Because they have waived materials for three years, per Policy 2020 at the end of 2014 they will need to show higher gains than the district on state assessment to continue to receive the waiver, per policy 2020, "must, on average over the 3-year waiver period, meet or exceed the gains demonstrated by peer schools that are using the district-adopted materials for all segments of their population in order to continue using the alternative basic instructional materials."

Additionally, in the current policy schools must identify their funding source whether it be district, school-based, or grant. Boren received funding, I believe from Capital (I will confirm this) to start the school. They have initiated a waiver this year.

2. There are no district agreements with publishers about pilots.

3. At the district level we do not have pilots for math. If schools are using non-adopted materials they should be requesting a waiver, per Policy 2020, from their Executive Directors."

As far as I know, the other schools are all in violation since they have all gone rogue.

The schools with waivers may continue to use their textbooks even after the adoption as long as they fulfill policy 2020.
Anonymous said…
Addendum per MAC results...The scores fall on a scale of 1 to 4, 4.0 being highest.

Signed, AKA
karen said…


It's my understanding only the 2nd grade piloted the different math curriculums last year. I very well could be wrong about that. It was with approval (again my understanding and I could be wrong). I don't feel like much information went out about the piloting or the selection. I imagine the teachers made the piloting work by stringing together appropriate lessons.

This year it is all MyMath which is what the teachers selected after last year's piloting. I think all grades switched this year. I can only speak for my kid's experience last year and this year since it is such a huge school.

I'm mainly curious how I'd know about any holes in the math education due to varying curriculum. Maybe there aren't any...I just don't know. I really hope SPS goes with the Singapore books!
Anonymous said…
Does anyone know which of the four top choices goes through middle school?

And if they did by chance pick one that went up through middle school, what's the chance that the district would take us out of our CMP misery now and adopt it for middle school too, rather than pretend to do a separate middle school math adoption process in the next years?

Any ideas on what the implication would be?

Anonymous said…

I don't think your information about waivers is accurate. Thurgood Marshall went through the procedure to get an official waiver so they could use Envision. Part of the waiver procedure is that the faculty has to approve by a margin of 80% or something like that. (The TM faculty voted unanimously to use Envision.)

Satisfied with Envision
Anonymous said…
MAC results:

WOW! I am so pleased. Looks like Math-In-Focus (based on Singapore) is Most Likely to Succeed, coming in with a very strong community-input lead over all other candidates aside from JUMP MATH.

The MAC vote shows only a weak distinction among the first four candidates. If the School Board only considers MAC scoring, then the case for MIF is not unassailable.

I understand from board policy however, that the community input is a very important consideration for the Board.

JUMP came in FIRST in the on-line community input, and THIRD for walk-in community input.

Is the MAC out of touch, ranking JUMP so low, compared to the very high community ranking?

K-5 parent
Linh-Co said…
@ Satisfied with Envision

I'm only quoting verbatim what Shauna Heath wrote in an email. This could have been her way of CYAing but I didn't make up the response.

Linh-Co said…
Here's the original emails. We specifically requested some information from Director McLaren. See both emails and Shauna Heath's response. Start at the bottom of thread.

From: Heath, Shauna L
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 1:25 PM
To: McLaren, Martha
Cc: Tolley, Michael F
Subject: RE: Math Adoption, waivers


I apologize for the delay. I was at the Great City Schools Conference last week and have been catching up today. I am working on your other email around materials, but I want to confirm other districts procedures. The adoption is a major focus for our department. The textual materials waiver is continuing work. I have answered the questions below:

1. Schmitz Park was grandfathered in prior to the revision of the Policy 2020 and they have received district funding for textual materials per Cathy Thompson. They have a waiver on file. Because they have waived materials for three years, per Policy 2020 at the end of 2014 they will need to show higher gains than the district on state assessment to continue to receive the waiver, per policy 2020, "must, on average over the 3-year waiver period, meet or exceed the gains demonstrated by peer schools that are using the district-adopted materials for all segments of their population in order to continue using the alternative basic instructional materials."

Additionally, in the current policy schools must identify their funding source whether it be district, school-based, or grant. Boren received funding, I believe from Capital (I will confirm this) to start the school. They have initiated a waiver this year.

2. There are no district agreements with publishers about pilots.

3. At the district level we do not have pilots for math. If schools are using non-adopted materials they should be requesting a waiver, per Policy 2020, from their Executive Directors.

Hope this helps and again, sorry for the delay.


Shauna Heath

From: McLaren, Martha
Sent: Sunday, November 03, 2013 10:18 AM
To: Heath, Shauna L
Subject: Math Adoption, waivers

Hi Shauna,

Hope you're doing well, and that you either have power or are managing to not stress about it if you don't!

Here are some specific questions from Rick Burke re waivers and their relationship to the adoption.

- Which schools are receiving district funding for math instructional materials (core and/or supplementary) other then EDM?
- Are you aware of any agreements between the district and/or schools and publishers for pilot studies?
- For the schools which are piloting materials "on their own", has the district identified any form of pre-test/post-test and survey instrument to benchmark the effects of the change in instructional materials?


Anonymous said…

GOOD NEWS! JUMP goes through Grade 8.

I talked to the publisher by phone a few weeks ago. One of my questions was this: How do kids do on your curriculum if they start JUMP in Grade 6?

They told me that they are seeing outstanding results at a school where the sixth graders are using this curriculum 1st time. (There is no controlled study results yet to document this.)

I asked this questions in anticipation of the next Middle School adoption in SPS.

(I am not a member of the MAC, so the publisher was allowed to talk to me without jepoardizing their eligibility for adoption in SPS.)

My hope is that a buzz around JUMP will develop so that JUMP can be a strong contender for the next middle school adoption.

Toward this end, I am going ask Math N Stuff to consider carrying JUMP. I think parents will find this works better at home than Singapore. Just like Singapore, parents should only need to buy the workbooks; the cost is similar.

Parents - please inquire about JUMP next time you go into MAth'N Stuff. Such inquiries will influence Math'N Stuff's decision whether to carry this product.

Here is a public site that set up by the publisher for the Seattle Public Schools adoption process.

signed, AKA
Anonymous said…
Re waivers:

North Beach has done Saxon off and on for years, I've heard (not personal experience) but had to put in annually for permission.

I think going rogue is more widespread than that email hints at - perhaps Ms. Heath was limiting her answer only to West Seattle?

Re piloting at Lincoln:

Several classes at various grades piloted various programs last year, not just 2d grade. However, no grade as a whole piloted. It is my understanding that the more experienced teachers who wanted to try out different programs did so, but no teacher was required to do the piloting. At least in some classes, parents and children did survey monkey responses about the programs after each section.

My bigger concern is that the district seems to be "piloting" standardized tests that might replace MAP in some populations/schools, and not in others - and those kids still get to take MAP too! As a former test taker for cash (seriously! paid to test standardized tests!) I deeply resent having my child lose instruction time to take MORE standardized tests than other kids in the district. At last count I think he's at 9.

I urge EVERYONE reading this to actual send a written request to their child's teacher, cc'd to the principal, asking for a list of all standardized tests your child will take over the course of the year, how long each takes, how many times they take it, and what it is to be used for. I am finding that such a list does not apparently exist, or at least I'm getting a bit of a run around on getting an answer.

I understand a standardized test in the fall and again in the spring to track an individual student's progress, and I understand the state MSPs to track the district against all kids in the state, but a lot of kids are taking a lot more tests than that ... my kid has had at least 3 standardized math tests at this point that I know about, but I can't get a straight answer about how many total are planned for the year. What more can they learn about my child? How much actual math teaching is lost to these tests, which must just cover the same ground over and over?

The fact that despite asking twice, in writing, no teacher or administrator has actually provided me with a list of the standardized tests my child is expected to take this year is actually kind of scary. I'm giving it one more casual written request before I go the formal route.

Ask for the list from your school. See what you get as an answer. I won't be surprised if few/no schools actually have a spreadsheet or list they will provide upon request.

SPS. Freaking culture of secrecy.

Signed - stopped playing
Anonymous said…
Hi am a math tutor. I learned of JUMP through my Salmon Bay students, some of whose parents are given JUMP for at-home supplementation.

I have been using Singapore, with great results, but am so impressed with JUMP that I planning to switch over to JUMP. I think this curriculum will work wonderfully for students regardless of level of aptitude.

I suggest all K-8 tutors look at JUMP math.

I am certain my business would drop off if SPS were to adopt JUMP!

Gr3-college math tutor.
Anonymous said…
K-5 parent,

I am an outsider to the MAC, but my understanding is that the MAC members were supposed to consider degree of alignment to CCSS. Since the JUMP CCSS rewrite is done only for G4-G5, I guess this explains the low MAC result.

The fact is, the Canadian market K-5 edition addresses nearly 100% of the CCSS standards (see JUMP website).

The American market rewrite will be done in time for fall classes.

Think there is justification for the Board to discount the low ranking from the MAC, and to give JUMP serious consideration due to the very strong community support.

Math tutor
Kate Martin said…
JUMP was clearly my favorite when I compared the 5th grade materials at the JSCEE. The format was very practical and the way the workbook is laid out would bring a welcome sigh of relief for parents trying to help out at home. Very clear and concise with examples shown and explained in the workbook. Also, they provide little grid lines so that the kids can get their numbers in the right columns which is a great training tool. Far and away the most practical materials of the lot. I happen to also really like the mission of the non-profit organization that puts these books out - they're actually math people not money grubbing publishers. And did I mention how affordable they're materials are? That's a nice bonus.
Linh-Co said…
Please attend the Special Work Session on Math Adoption today from 6-7 at JSCEE. We really need some people to daylight this process and make it as transparent as possible!
Linh-Co said…
North Beach does not currently have a waiver even though they did a few years ago. I worked there when we had a waiver.

They are still using Saxon but Ms. Heath confirmed that they did not have a waiver. Your school may be under the impression that you have a waiver but you really don't.

Schmitz Park had to jump through hoops by not only proving their scores but also showing line item alignment of Singapore Math to Common Core.
Anonymous said…
Is there a master list of which schools have waivers and for what?

Linh-Co said…
There's no master list. This is something we cobbled together from parents blogging about what their school uses.

Boren - Singapore Math
Schmitz Park - Singapore Math
Alki - Singapore Math
Beacon Hill - Teacher created
Thorton Creek - TERC
North Beach - Saxon
John Muir - ST Math
Montlake - enVision
Lincoln - My Math
Salmon Bay - TERC (few classrooms)
McGilvra - Envision
Jane Addams K-5 - enVision
Coe - My Math
Lowell - My Math
South Shore - enVision
Lafayette - Jump Math
Pathfinder - Multiple resources
Queen Anne - Math In Focus???
Thurgood Marshall - enVision???

I put ??? after the program if I'm uncertain. Parents from those schools can verify.
Linh-Co said…
This is not a list of schools with waivers, but only a list of schools using programs other than EDM.

According to Shauna Heath only 2 of these schools have waivers. We heard that Queen Anne was trying to get a waiver this year for Math In Focus.
Anonymous said…
I had heard about JumpMath a few years back in the NY Times. Very impressive results in a double blind study of rural Canadian School districts I believe.

I am currently teaching all the math from Grade 6 through high school in Lund, Nevada. (Our k-12 school has 100 students enrolled)... How rural is our school? It is 35 miles to the nearest grocery store in Ely.

As a result of Seattle looking at Jump, I gave it a closer look. I spent $100 and ordered all the books for grades 1-8 (1 copy each).

I was very impressed.

About the MAC's NOT Common Core aligned worry. .... I find this not relevant to Jump consideration as Jump is very cheap to switch from year to year. A student needs 1 book each semester and the books are written in by the student. Books cost $6.60 each plus shipping.

I am currently using Jump 6.1 with my lower Jr High group and will be starting 8.1 with my higher Jr High group. 6.1 is Common Core edition (true for 4.1 through 6.2 this year)

8.1 is the 2009 Canadian version (I will simply switch to the CCSS version when it comes out for next year.

Teacher materials are $85 per grade level and the Smartboard file is $65 per grade level. is a non-profit that really provides materials at reasonable prices. (Rather than fat salaries for directors)

Interesting that for the MAC, CCSS alignment (whatever value that is) trumps an effective economical math program.

Like I've said --- CCSS is much more about Race to the Bank and No Vendor Left Behind than quality instruction from proven materials. See Pearson racing to the bank at every opportunity.

Keeping Jump of the list .... huh?
So what does the MAC think would happen if Jump was adopted?

Jump is likely the least expensive most effective choice instructional choice ....

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data....

(Geezzz what am I thinking -- Clearly CCSS alignment is what is needed - Chuck that data stuff and chuck that cost stuff.)

-- Dan Dempsey
Benjamin Leis said…
@Karen - I'm inferring from your description that your daughter probably goes to Lincoln. At any rate I don't think the curriculum changes you describe are likely to leave out much. Because most beginning arithmetic skills are sequential if there was a fundamental gap it would come out as you moved forward. If you're satisfied that your daughter has mastered basic arithmetic, fractions, decimals, percentages and a smattering of geometry (this assumes grade 5 level) then everything's also most likely fine. Another resource is the math assessments done at the beginning of the year. If you're worried still you can always self administer an at home assessment. There are a variety of web sites with tests that are all good enough to give you a picture of where things stand. I hope this helps.
Anonymous said…
Queen Anne began using ST Math about a month ago. *That is an online curriculum. Teachers seem to be using a hodge-podge of other sources for regular classroom math instruction, none of which include EDM. I am unaware of push to adopt Math in Focus- there are no materials at the school or talk at PTA meetings. They received MyMath materials in the fall, but the district made them give them back shortly after their arrival. Why? I have no idea. Seems the rules are being enforced arbitrarily
QA Mom
Anonymous said…
All of Salmon Bay (elementary) uses TERK as of this year.
Anonymous said…
Sorry TERC
Anonymous said…
WOW!!! The community ratings and the MAC ratings for JumpMath are miles apart. What is up with that?

So was Jump rated so poorly by the MAC because it did not have a CCSS stamp on the cover of books for grades 1,2,3 ??? (It is on there for grade 4, 5, 6)

Did MAC members ever look at actual studies of efficacy and look beneath the surface to see which if any are valid?

Wonder how far out of alignment with CCSS standards the Jump books are?

Did the MAC compare CCS Standards with actual content for grades 1, 2, 3 in the 2009 Canadian edition? Taking a look at the end of grade 3 and how the totality of those first three years compare might be very revealing.

Or is the MAC a parrot for UW?
Important not to offend Gates and its CCSS directions.

So how far off of CCSS is the totality of grades 1, 2, 3 Jump?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…

Thanks for sharing the email chain, but Shauna Heath's email does NOT say that only two schools have waivers. And that is not the question she was asked, according to the email from McClaren to Heath. McClaren asked which schools were receiving district funding for non-EDM materials, and Heath told her about two schools. There could be many more schools that have official waivers but are not using district funds to buy the non-EDM materials. Thurgood Marshall, for example, got an official waiver and adopted enVision, but it did not use District funds.

TM Math Mom
Linh-Co said…
If you went through the process of getting a waiver and submitted an application with approval then your school has a waiver. However, the majority of these schools are using other materials without submitting an application for a waiver.

We did ask for the exact number of schools with waivers and it was a very small number, not the 18 or 19 schools that are listed.
Dan, apparently Jump doesn't have its CC alignment ready for K-3 and they are saying they cannot consider it on that basis.

Jan said…
Ah! And of course, that is the "poison" at the heart of top-down things like national adoption of common core. Something that was supposed to have been developed as a "help" -- a way of letting teachers and parents know what generally kids should be learning by what time -- has now become the driver of the bus, so that we cannot consider adopting a curriculum that people rave about, because it does not perfectly align with common core. You know -- if cc was just a set of guidelines "out there," it would be fine. People could note that and give it whatever weight they deemed appropriate in decision making. But it is much more heavy-handed and stifling than that. Melissa -- how best do we go about trying to break the iron grip of common core?
Anonymous said…
In my experience with Envision, kids are expected to log into their accounts, take their (multiple choice) tests online, get their work assignments online, print them out AT HOME and turn them in. 3rd graders are expected to copy problems from a textbook in order to do their work - no workbooks. Or teacher copies pages from the student textbook, or the kids have to haul the large student textbook home. 4th grade, not such an issue, but 3rd graders, a bit of an issue. New version of the teacher manual only available online. This was not what was presented when purchased from Pearson. Buyer beware.

Anonymous said…
WOW Jan's comment is right on.

Looks like the MAC has incredible faith in CCSS Alignment... Why SO?

Standards hardly allow one to select a suitable efficient instructional tool. As standards are only a very small piece of the puzzle.

There is no agency that decides whether books are CCSS aligned the publishers simply make that claim.

Take a look at how the Math Standards were developed and why.
There is reason to believe that the timing of some skills might be misplaced.

The bigger question in this discussion would be what differences are there between the 2009 Canadian version of Jump and the CCSS.

Looks to me like the MAC is short on curiosity and imagination and real problem solving skills. --- pretty much par for the course these days.

If the MAC can't detail the short comings of Jump alignment and how those shortcomings will impact instruction in the SPS, I really must wonder why the initial rules were made to be so ironclad.

So what makes one publisher's materials CCSS aligned and another's not aligned. How far out of alignment is too far?

This looks like a definite problem. For the most recent materials have hardly any track record.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
I re-iterate:

It is a clear misunderstanding or falsehood to say JUMP K-3 is not aligned to CCSS. See the CCSS correlations on the JUMP website for the Canadian market materials.

The K-8 books in the Canadian Market materials address very close to 100% of the standards in CCSS.

The Canadian market edition depicts Canadian rather than US currency. This to me is a very minor problem with K=3 only, and will be fixed in a few months when the K-3 rewrite for the American market is done.

MAth tutor.
Anonymous said…
The Common Core is not perfect. It is not evil. It is an attempt to bring consistency across states, districts, schools and teachers. Although a core standard should be a "floor", these standards are quite high and if all our kids met or exceeded them we would be in very good shape.

The educational industrial complex is a byproduct of our broken legislative system, just like the military industrial, medical industrial, and agro industrial complexes. It is not because of the common core, in the prior system publishers only cared about California and Texas standards.At least now there is a consistent mandate if they want our business.

The MAC is charged with recommending a curriculum to meet those standards since it is what kids, teachers, schools, and districts are charged with. They are not supposed to be creative or choose a curriculum based on bloggers, meteorologists, and disgruntled parents think. The timing could be better. The choices could be better but waiting is not an option apparently.

Math in Focus is based on Singapore math progressions and models, not the Common Core. If you like it that is fine, but the rest of us have a public mandate, like it or not, to work together to teach a wide variety of children, who progress from grade to grade and move from school to school. We will be evaluated on those standards- because of your legislators.
You will never find a perfect curriculum, nor will you be able to please everyone. Common Core is an attempt to at least achieve some consistent learning targets for teachers and students to get down to the serious business of learning.

-a teacher
Anonymous said…
Well said!

-also Teacher
Anonymous said…
@-a teacher

You have a choice. Teach to the Common Core Standards and move your students slowly through the necessary steps towards mathematical proficiency. Or, use the Singapore Math system (Math in Focus) and move your students quickly, rationally, and efficiently towards Algebra.

Singapore Math is, generally, one year ahead of the CCSS. Since it is not a text based program, relying instead on standard mathematical language, students of all literacy and English proficiency levels can be successful in the program.

Singapore Math focuses on five main skill areas:

Algebraic Thinking
Geometric Thinking
Problem Solving
Automaticity through Mental Math

Parents like this program, teachers find it user friendly and rational, and it has a proven record of raising test scores in schools that fully implement the program.

-Math Teacher
Math Tutor, thanks for that. I am going to pass that along to the Committee and board. (I attended part of the day-long Math Adoption Committee meeting yesterday and will have a thread later.)

A teacher, don't use the "evil" strawman rhetoric, okay? Search this blog and find someone (anyone) who says it's "evil." I know it wasn't me.

What bothers me is math fluency. I read and hear conflicting stories about CC math. I firmly believe a student cannot move on without knowing the basics and it is folly to think so. (I'm thinking the majority of kids.)
Anonymous said…
A teacher has concerns about Singapore "Math in Focus" and rightly so.

Check the data of other schools and districts using Singapore Standards Edition, Singapore US Edition, and Math in Focus. It can be a mixed bag as far as results go.

Highline adopted MIF and uses ST Math software. I am told 90 minutes of math a day and a lot of PD for teachers. The grade 3 MSP Math results were below average for 2012-13. I am comparing district "Low Income" with State "Low Income". District with State GAP widened to 10.7%

The other big question is can MIF be successfully started in grades 1-5 or does it need to be rolled up over a period of years?

Lets look at Boren k-5 STEM school results in 2012-2013 for Low Income students:

STEM k-5 : SPS Dist : State
46.2 :: 53.9 :: 52.2
58.8 :: 56.8 :: 49.8

at grade 5 there were not enough low income students to report results. Here are results for all:

STEM k-5 : SPS Dist : State
grade 5:
42.9 :: 69.9 :: 62.7

My district White Pine County School District adopted Singapore Math Standards edition and has not done well. We only have school 4 days a week and very little professional development was offered. The adoption put Singapore Standards edition in grades 1-6 and the Singapore Discovery in grades 7 & 8 with no transition from the previous adoption. Standardized scores plummeted and have not recovered.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said…
Melissa Westbrook said...

Dan, apparently Jump doesn't have its CC alignment ready for K-3 and they (MAC) are saying they cannot consider it on that basis.

Fact: Jump has CCSSM aligned books for grades 4, 5, 6 available now.

Fact: Jump will have CCSSM aligned books available for use fall 2014 for grades 1, 2, 3.

Fact: Jump did not send current grades 1, 2, 3 Canadian 2009 edition books to SPS as they did not wish to confuse the process.

Opinion: I am using Jump 6.1 now and I find it very easy to transition into.



The Jump books will be available for next school year. The MAC could get a really good idea of what those books will look like by examining the Jump books 1, 2, 3.

Apparently the MAC just chose to reject Jump without really looking.

-- Dan Dempsey
Dan, I don't think it was MAC. I think they got the information elsewhere and were told this. (But I'll check.)
Anonymous said…
Gee Dan…since when do we evaluate a math program based on its results in a brand new school (K-5 STEM). You know as well as anyone that it takes three years to begin exceeding standards. Remember all those incoming kids had years of EDM. Did STEM even have Singapore Math textbooks the whole year? And, aren't you talking about less than a dozen students?

You used to be an advocate of Singapore Math in 2010 when Schmitz Park was achieving at-the-top scores (before they ended up with 650 kids).

-Math Teacher
Anonymous said…
Dear Math Teacher,

Excellent points. My concern is that a wide ranging unbiased evaluation be carried out in the selection process.

will the SPS provide adequate resources for the selected programs full implementation?

What are those costs? They likely vary depending on the program selected.

About K-5 STEM@Boren .... The situation faced by students in grade 5 at Boren in 2012-2013 will not be much different than for many students in 2014-2015 if a new k-5 series is selected an used next fall.

Good question about did the kids and the teachers have the needed materials from day 1? If they did not, then what was the planning principal doing?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
You can't easily use K5STEM at Boren as a test case in year one for many reasons. For starters I believe they adopted an older version of Singapore Math not Math in Focus. The 4th and 5th grade teachers that first year had lots of experience teaching it at Schmitz Park before they were hired by STEM. The number of students in the upper grades was very small and some of them may have been using Singapore Math at other West Seattle elementary schools and or at home before the switch. A kid who disliked math would probably not pick a STEM option school. Looking at Highline's district wide results with their Math in Focus adoption (using ST Math alongside it and PD by Singapore Math experts) would give you a bigger more relevant sample. -Was There
I think it's now time for US to adopt a more productive math program like Singapore Math!
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