Math Adoption - The Staff Strikes Back

Reviewing the updated agenda for tomorrow night's Board meeting, it looks like staff have been burning the midnight oil.

First, the speakers list is full with nine people on the waitlist.  The overwhelming number of comments are to be about the math adoption.

Next, on the K-5 Math Instructional Materials Adoption, there are many new additions.  The BAR is now 23 pages long.  To note:

  • In response to MAC members’ concerns around cost, staff provided cost information to the MAC and directed the MAC to take it into considerationit was reiterated prior to beginning deliberation that cost should not be considered as a primary criterion for ranking. Because committee member’s expertise was not primarily on cost or budget,Based on Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Michael Tolley’s directive directed, MAC members to evaluate each were instructed to only evaluate each program only on merit, not overall cost.

  • NOTE: A Mminority reports from one four members of the committee is are attached. (Attachments 16)
Basically, staff is saying that they would
  • have to renegotiate contracts ("with costs likely to go up"), 
  • find an equitable process for schools to select materials (which I don't get - they choose one or the other, no?), 
  • figure out professional development for two programs and 
  • there is "substantially increased risk of programs not being in place" for next year.
They state that it's not useful to use to benchmark what materials other districts are using because of CCSS.  (It's not an applicable situation.)

Then there is the first amendment from Directors McLaren and Peters (and my apologies, I may have said it came from Peaslee).  I suspect that they will withdraw this one in favor of their second one. 

I find the staff response less than compelling simply because it is not that easy to read.  Why there isn't a chart to clearly show the figures is beyond me.  I am also not moved by the "impact on teachers in schools with high mobility" but not because it isn't an issue.  I'm sure it is.  But the staff gave zero data on how many students this might be and I think that is because it is likely a low number. 

Then they get to my favorite issue which is "the integrity of selection process."  It's my favorite because honestly, you can never tell when staff will support a committee's work or when they will ignore it.  My experience is to ask, "what is the outcome staff wants?" and that will let you know how much they favor a committee's recommendation or not. 

Then they are concerned over principals making this decision -because it comes so late in the school year and it will be difficult to get input from the school community - by themselves.  Look, if parents and community had wanted to give input, they would have done it during the process.  I think that, just like how staff treats committee recommendations, that most principals will go with what they and staff want.  (And I have to smile that staff is very concerned over enforcement of the BLT rules when they turn a blind eye to what happens on those teams all the time.)

Then there is Amendment two, again from McLaren and Peters, to adopt Singapore Math.   It is unclear to me when this amendment came onto the agenda (I believe it was today); there is no staff statement so far. 

In the end, the question still is, what is the best math curriculum to advance academic outcomes for SPS students AND meet CCSS?

Given these items come at the beginning of the agenda, I would suspect a long discussion between staff and Directors and among the Directors themselves.  In the end, I predict a 4-3 vote but I can't say for certain what they will choose to do.

One thing that needs to stop - staff cannot use "gotta get it done" as an reason/excuse over and over.  Getting it right is more important than any timing especially for something as vital as math curriculum. 


Anonymous said…
From: js
Date: Thu, May 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Subject: Is dual adoption adverse for mobile students? [Resend, with corrections]
To: "Peaslee, Sharon D"
Cc:, ZzAnna M Box ,

Dear Director Peaslee,

I understand that there is a widespread concern within this school district that (intra-district) mobile students will be adversely impacted by a dual adoption of K-5 math curriculum materials, or more generally, by continuation of the waiver policy, This concern arises out of an evidently strongly and widely-held belief within Seattle Public Schools that having absolutely uniform curriculum materials and pacing across the district should be a very high priority of Teaching and Learning department, and in particular of the math program manager.

I am defining "mobile student" as any student who makes a transition from one SPS building to another at a time other than at the start of a school year.

Anonymous said…
I do not know the overall mobility rate for Seattle Public K-5/K-8 Schools. CSIPs provide the school-specific mobility rates. I have looked at CSIPs for three different high-poverty schools in SPS, and find mobility rates varying greatly. At Bailey-Gatzaert, the rate as of 2012 is 12%. The mobility rate is much higher at an elementary school that has a bilingual orientation center. At a mobility rate of 12%, a teacher would typically see about two or three students leave his/her class mid-year, and two-or three students enter his/her class mid-year. These mobile students, who more often than not are underachieving students -- so the literature on student mobility tells me -- bring extra challenge for the teacher and the continuing students.

I have spent some hours looking for research literature and research literature reviews that speak to the question I posed in the subject line of my email. My research so far has been limited to what I can find in a web search from my home computer, so my literature research is not exhaustive.

So far, I cannot find any research that directly tests the hypothesis that "curriculum materials matters" for mobile students.

In fact, my review of research is leading me toward the conclusion that the achievement of mobile students has far more to do with the following school-related factors, listed in order of importance.

1. Pre-existing achievement level of the transferring student: average achievement level and family-income index (as judged FRL frequency) is typically lower among the mobile student population than among to the continuing student population.

2. The contrast in teacher-provided and school-provided support (including both for acclimation and academics) at the receiving school

3. The receiving teacher's effectiveness and whether it is higher or lower than that of the teacher-of-origin.

4. Curriculum consistency (i.e., whether the receiving school has same or different curriculum materials as the school of origin).

Personal and family circumstances are of course important, but the school district has no means to influence these, so I do not include these in my list.

My preliminary research review suggests to me that last of these factors would, if tested for influence on academic achievement of mobile students, turn out to be a minor factor for that population of students, regardless of family income status. In fact, I would be very surprised if curriculum materials constrats between origin-school and receiving-school would emerge as having any statistical significance in a well-designed factor analysis.

I have found one highly pertinent article which indirectly speaks to the question of how important is the fourth factor. [see].
Anonymous said…

This article suggests that mobile students will likely benefit if they move from a school with weaker curriculum to a school with stronger curriculum, provided the student is not already lagging behind grade-level, and provided also that school provides effective transition support and remediation services, and the receiving classroom has an effective teacher. In particular, the research provides strong indirect evidence that a student moving from a TERC Investigations classroom would have, on average, more success if the receiving school has EnVision Math (SFAW version), Saxon Math, Math Expressions, or or a similarly efficacious or more efficacious curriculum. (Singapore, Math-In-Focus, and the new CC-aligned EnVision Math were not tested in the study, but I suspect mobile students moving from TERC or Everyday Math to one of these curricula would also typically see improvements in their math achievement caused by the change in curricula.)

In fact, the literature suggests that SPS would do best by their mobile students to try to reduce mobility in the first place, by providing -- at least for those lwo income students who are thriving in their school of origin -- special transportation services that allow these students to continue at their school, (Note that in some instances, the move may be more beneficial than remaining in place, so each student would need to be served on a case-by-case basis.)

A recommendation for data analysis:

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data." W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

Seattle Public Schools NWEA MAP data can be put to very good use on the question posed in my subject line. This is an amazing data resource that can be used to test the alternate hypothesis H1: against the null hypothesis H0, where

H0 (null hypothesis): Consistency of curriculum materials and pacing between school-of-origin and receiving-school has, among the various factors that can be analyzed, minor or non-significant influence on the academic achievement of mobile students.

H1 (alternate hypothesis): Academic achievement of mobile students declines when the receiving school has a different curriculum than the school of origin, all other other factors - such as can be controlled for - being constant

The state testing data (MSP, etc.) has no utility for this question.

Because one of the major arguments staff has given to oppose dual adoption is the anticipated adverse effect on mobile students, it seems to me that directors might like to place top priority on Eric Anderson's getting at least a preliminary answer to the research question I have posed here before next Wednesday's vote on K-5 math adoption.

If I am correct in my perception of Director's priorities, then I respectfully suggest that Directors ask Eric Anderson to undertake this analysis immediately, and provide at least a preliminary answer before the K-5 adoption vote next Wednesday.

I am able to formulate in my mind a clear, simple way to test H1 against H0 -- using stratified sampling of MAP data. I am sure that Eric Anderson would be able to think of a strong test design. If he would like to hear my ideas for methodology, however, I would be happy to share them. ( I have professional experience in designing data analyses to test hypotheses, and carrying out such analyses.)

Please share this email with other directors if you think it appropriate.

I have cc'd Shauna Heath, Anna Box, and Eric Anderson, so that they can respond to this email, and especially comment on whether they agree that

1. There is little or no research to strongly support the alternative hypothesis H1.

2. The intelligent analysis of MAP data from SPS may yield an answer of some statistical significance to this question

3. The outcome of such analysis is relevant and material to the upcoming K-5 math materials adoption vote.

Best regards,
Joan sias
Tansparency Please said…
The district would/should remember that it doesn't pay to manipulate process.
Anonymous said…
Let us be blunt…Adam Dysart is very worried tonight. He pushed Heath's favorite curriculum (enVision) and he cannot justify its selection (even with spurious data and cost analysis).

Bye bye!

Deja Vu
Anonymous said…
Here is a subset of mobility data for seattle public schools. This data is troublesome to look up, and is found on CSIPS. I have not prepared an exhaustive list, but at least it gives you some idea of the mobility rate in SPS. I have not found a definition of mobility, but I suspect it is the percent of students that joined the school after the fall. I don't think it includes the percent of students that leave the school after enrolliing in fall (this is appropriate).

Only some of the CSIPS give mobility data. If you see a question mark, that is because the CSIP for the schol was located, but did not provide the mobility number. In many cases, this is probably because the school is low poverty and has a negligible mobility rate.
Mobility rate is given for 2012-2013 school year, unless otherwise noted. I believe Dunlap school has a Bilingual Orientation Center, which might account for the high mobility rate at that school.

Dunlap 21
Bailey-Gatzaert 13
Roxhill 17
Layfayett ?
Olympic Hills ?
Sandpoint ?
Northgate 19
Beacon Hill 6
Schmitz Park 12-13 6
Bryant 12-13 7
Schmitz Park 09-10 3

Joan S.
Anonymous said…
I was given permission to post this additional letter to school board about staff concerns with mobile students being adversely affected by a dual adoption.

I am posting these letters because Linh-Co asked me to. She thinks these will be of interest to this community of readers.

Dear Directors,

You may recall the Bellevue high school adoption process about four years ago. The district sampled several books, collected and analyzed data, and then selected the program they wanted, supposedly based on the outcome of the data analysis. Jock Mackinlay used Tableau software to analyze the same district data and demonstrated the district had misrepresented, or at least misinterpreted, their own test data. Ultimately, citizen activists prevailed and Holt was adopted by Bellevue.

It seems that SPS is, essentially, doing the same kind of thing that Bellevue did in 2010. The selection of enVision by the selection committee is marginally credible. Now, apparently, there is resistance from SPS administration to having a dual adoption.

I’ve been in contact with Joan Sias, and others, on the dual adoption matter. I’ve done a little research on the dual adoption matter, though not on the policy matters you all have to deal with. Policy aside for a moment, I have been unable to find any research to support the notion that dual adoption, in and of itself, is detrimental to math learning, though mobility has a negative impact on learning. If the SPS administration has actual evidence that dual adoption is detrimental, they should provide that evidence, not just reference it, maybe by saying “research shows". My extensive experience with “research shows” is that the referenced research was done by education researchers using standard education research protocol. That work is different from research done using the scientific method, is generally not replicable, and rarely passes the Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse evidence screen. As such, education research is mostly useless in the real world, except to support other questionable education research. Examples abound.

As one example, educators strongly support smaller class size. Smaller class size seems to make sense intuitively, even to the lay public. Legislators support the concept with legislation, and sometimes with funding. The problem is, the concept is not supported in research. Educators say class size matters in student outcomes. Extensive research on this topic says that isn’t so. In spite of the evidence, class size is a regular agenda item in education circles, and in Olympia. Hattie says “… merely reducing the number of students in front of teachers appears to change little - in teaching and in outcomes.” (Visible Learning 2009) The parallel here is obvious. Educators saying that dual adoption won’t work is not unlike them saying class size reduction will work, except that there is no evidence to support the notion expressed by administrators on the dual adoption issue.

Anonymous said…

In the absence of research on the issue Joan has put forth an excellent idea about how to quickly determine on a local level whether, or not, dual adoption might have negative impact on math learning. Her idea of quickly putting together a research study to see if the district can support its claim is a good one. Actual evidence of outcomes from students moving between two different math programs should be illuminating. She has volunteered to help with the research. I believe the district could do this work in short order, with her help. And, SPS might even consider doing a long term study of the effects of dual adoption, of course after approving dual adoption.

It’s pretty clear that having the single adoption of EM hasn’t helped students learn the math they need to succeed. That outcome is exactly what the public told the SPS board during the last adoption process. At the previous adoption the board was convinced to include Singapore, at least in name, though it never actually got implemented. So, there is some precedence for dual adoption. And, that aquiessence probably enabled a few schools to use Singapore, much to the advantage of the students who got Singapore instruction. It continues to baffle me why there is so much resistance to using what is known to work. Again, evidence abounds.

What, exactly, would the district lose by having a dual adoption? Generally, the only schools doing well today are those that are using a program other than EM. Those schools that are doing well, the waiver schools, are in effect, making dual adoption a reality. While a dual adoption may be harder to manage than a single program, the evidence is that individual schools can make good choices when permitted to do so. Permitting two choices will enable principals to do what is best for their students. I’d guess that principals will be more vested, and will achieve more success, if they have a choice; and they will be less vested if they do not have a choice, resulting in less student success. Outcomes support this conjecture.

Quick action on Joan’s suggested research should give you some real data on which to base a legitimate and rational decision.

D--- P----, PE
Mah Advocate
Shoreline School District K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 curriculum selection committees member 2008 to 2012.

posted by Joan S.
Anonymous said…
Linh-Co asked me also to post a memo that I sent the school board tonight about Schmitz Park.

Here is the link to the memo.

Here are links to documents referenced in my memo.

In my memo, I provide a clear graphic giving a larger context for the data in the staff analysis of Schmitz Park.

I hope that my memo was persuasive on my assertion that the staff analysis is biased and flawed. I hope I persuaded school directors to disregard the staff effort to discredit Schmitz Park.

Joan S.
Anonymous said…
In the staff analysis appearing in Amendment #1, in which staff says dual adoption will be very costly and troublesome, I think staff has made a very good case for single adoption of Math In Focus.

I worry that unless we do single adoption of MIF (rather than dual), staff will do everything in their power to sabotage MIF adopting schools, starting with dragging their feet on purchasing process so the materials come in late.
Anonymous said…
Signing for preceding comment:
Joan S.
And I thought I did a lot of work.

Unbelievably great work, Joan. Thank you so much for putting in the effort to back up the questioning of staff analysis.

I, too, worry about what happens if the Board goes against the recommendation. I can only say that this would be a bad idea on the part of anyone and that cooperation is a two-way street.

It is vital that those who govern and run our district understand that.
Sam said…
idk, Melissa. Didn't the district recommend Discovery Math, which was an enormous mistake?
Peanut said…
My 2nd grade girl is becoming math phobic as a result of the current curriculum.

In working with her, I figured out that the text heavy problems confuse her, preventing her from mastering the calculations.

Bought a couple of Singapore workbooks. Yesterday, she did 8 pages (80 problems) of simple addition and subtraction in less than 30 minutes. Happiness.

Then, she did 4 problems of subtraction, which required figuring out how to set up the problem and explain what you did. She set it up properly, then somehow calculated improperly. She couldn't explain her answers then, because she got it wrong and then started guessing. Repeatedly.

More than 1 hour for 4 subtraction problems, frustration, tears, and saying that she's not good at math.

Nope. MIF all the way.

Math is a universal language. I can not figure out why they are trying to screw that up by with text intensive problems to obscure the math language.

Finally, speaking, as someone who was one of those kids people in SPS worry about now, this kind of math would have been the worst possible outcome for a kid like me: only child of single mom, Hispanic, and FRL. Wanna talk about mobility? I attended 13 different schools over my childhood. In fifth grade, we moved 3 times. The summer after 5th grade, we moved again.

I am now highly educated, stable, not FRL, married. I will not allow SPS to make my kids math phobic. I've worked too damn hard to get where I am now.

Other people of my background may not have had the same luck and may not have the same resources I do now. I worry.
Greenwoody said…
The Seattle School Board needs to remember they represent the people, especially the parents, and not the staff. We elect them to oversee the staff, and when the staff get out of line, as they have here, it's the job of the Board to rein them in. Alignment to CCSS should be a secondary factor here - getting the choice right should be the top factor.
Anonymous said…
It may still be possible to do this...

I wonder what the results would be if the MAC was individually polled today, knowing what they know now, with instructions to avoid cost concerns, and given the following three options:

1) single adoption of EnVision
2) single adoption of MIF
3) dual adoption of both of the programs above.

Can the board request this of them? The district?

~ another recommendation?
Gads said…
I wish it were time for the district to update middle and high school math curriculum. The text heavy discovery method isn't impressive at the middle school level. Very difficult for students (and adults) to figure-out what is being asked.

The mathies that I MIF.
mirmac1 said…
Thank you for your tireless efforts for great math in our schools Joan
Kathleen V. said…
Another important factor regarding mobility: schools on the southern border of the district have the highest mobility to/from the Highline School District. Highline uses Math in Focus.

An admin secretary that worked at Roxhill for 20 years has testified (via documents sent to the Board) that the greatest influx/outflux of students from this school where 86% of students are non-caucasian descent and 78% qualify for F/RL is related to the cost of living within the city limits.

You want to make the biggest difference for our poorest students on the southern edge of the district? Adopt Math in Focus. If they still want to argue mobility, then the district must choose a Math in Focus single adoption.
Anonymous said…

I really appreciate your post. And I'm with you 100%. Don't let your daughter beat herself up. This is her introduction to school politics, where students are ground up and spit out in favor of grown-ups agendas. By middle school, she'll be wiser than most adults, with healthy skepticism and critical thinking skills.

And also let her know she's not alone, that Math is great, and that it's just THIS WAY OF TEACHING MATH that sucks.

For us, it was Math for Dummies that got us through. For others, it's the Khan Academy or other Singapore/traditional books. Grab outside resources ASAP and your daughter's life will rapidly improve. It's ridiculous that parents have to do that, but it works.

Hang in there and tell your daughter to do the same. And let her know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of parents fighting to make her life better with real math right now.

This math adoption is too late for my kids, but it could help the next generation a lot and avoid loads of pain for students and families. So, I'm all-in for Singapore, no matter what. If it benefits your daughter and similarly situated kids all over this district, in the end, it will be incredibly satisfying.

Anonymous said…
Re: Mobility

100% of students at Boren are new to the school in the last two years.

In Amendment 1 and 2, Boren data for Grade 5 is used in support of the Amendments. The Mean cited is actually higher than published based on the new numbers I saw this weekend at a community meeting.

The new numbers are a Mean of 243.6 RIT.

There are no mobility issues with Singapore Math.

Deja Vu
Anonymous said…
Over the years I've routinely been blown away at the incredible work done by parents in this district, like Meg Diaz, Kelly LaRue, and Joan S. (And many others as well, including CM and MW with this blog.) And I know Joan's been busting her tail for several years now.

What really, really blows me away is how staff will give such parents "the Heisman" (picture it) as often as possible, feeling threatened by laypeople treading on their turf, instead of showing appreciation for the incredible, high-level, professional work such folks do for free, at great sacrifice to their personal and family lives. And it's often more accurate and higher quality than anything we get from staff.

So, thank you Joan. And if anyone at SPS is reading this, realize that these people only want to make this district better. They don't want your jobs, so open your minds and stop circling the wagons all the time.

StringCheese said…
~ another recommendation:
As the district well knows, you can't give out cost information that is coated in /district/state/national budget worries and then magically tell people not to consider it. Whatever answer you get is fruit from a poisoned tree.

Staff has turned this into a referendum on ignoring the hard work of the MAC (which was substantial) while desperately trying to cover up the fact that the PROCESS was seriously flawed and rigged from the beginning. The MAC has every right to get defensive because they followed the process to a tee. What they didn't know at the time, and may not still fully understand, is just how much the district designed the process to yield the results they wanted. This includes the ridiculous reasoning for not including benchmarking data, setting up the process for community input in a way that they could justify ignoring it in the end, weighing CCSS at 60%, and repeatedly bringing cost in despite its mandate not to. That's just a few things off of the top of my head. There is much, much more included in the FOIA documents regarding presenting outdated and misleading data to the Board regarding costs.

So, no, I don't think this MAC would back down from their recommendation. They followed process. It is human nature to get defensive and district staff have only been feeding the fire. The only real way to get to the heart of the matter would be to convene another MAC with much greater oversight on the processes put in place.
Po3 said…
Staff has been using the mobility excuse for years as a reason that all schools need this curriculum or that curriculum. Then they give waivers to schools who ask for them, making the mobility reasoning invalid.

Kinda makes me smirk to see mobility touted at the 11th hour.

I am confident that this board will get it right. I only see Martin-Morris siding with the staff's bularky.

Anonymous said…
The "mobility" issue comes up with every curriculum adoption. Sadly, it's about the best staff can come up with, when they have no idea (nor genuine concern) what the actual numbers are.

It's no different than a used car salesman saying "this Kia will beat a Corvette" or "that 4x4 will climb a tree." It's called "puffery" in the marketplace, and isn't to be taken seriously or relied upon. By now, I see staff's presentations much the same way. Grasping, seat of their pants rationales are standard fare, instead of relying on - wait for it - DATA!

It's really inexcusable for adults on our payroll to behave this way.

mirmac1 said…
Deja Vu,

Thanks for the deja vu moment. Of COURSE the Schmitz Park data took a hit. It reflects the migration of mathie staff and students to K-5 STEM. This made room for new students to Schmitz Park who obviously have a learning curve.
mirmac1 said…
WSDWG, at first I read "the Heimlich" in your post : ) Yes, I could picture staff doing that to parents cuz we're choking on all this crap!
Kathleen, great point.

In case you didn't notice, the number of MAC committee members who filed their own opinions went up from 1 teacher to 3 more people.

I like the idea of polling the MAC committee on this issue but I fear it is too late.

Once again, a mess. Once again, it's hurry up, it's getting late.

My hope is that if the Board goes along with the staff rec, that at least some of the Board will state that they will no longer accept work that is not objective and complete from staff on any future votes.

That this tactic works over and over is depressing.
Anonymous said…
Folks: Staff are relying on and taking direction from the WA State OSPI's manual entitled "Washington State Guidance for Selection of Instructional Materials" published in '08 when Terry Berguson was the SIPI. "Guidance" is the key word in that title, it isn't the "law" but OSPI's guidance on how to comply. You'll note there's nothing in it which deals with a situation we have here, where a board and IMC disagree.

OSPI Manual

Next or "Where did 'non-negotiables' come from, which infected the MAC review process? It sppears to have come from an outfit called "Student Achievement Partners" (SAP) who had a heavy hand in developing CCSS. They've developed a written document called the "CCSS Toolkit for Evaluating Alignment of Instructional and Assessment Materials to the Common Core State Standards" published in July '13 and have a Windows Media CCSS Webinar and related PowerPoint slides about the same on OSPI's website.

The speaker from SAP, Sandra Alberti, quite clearly implores material adoption reviewers to reject any curriculum that doesn't align with common core outright, and refers to her list of "non-negotiables." Sound familiar?

It all so aligns with our local history and procedure, that I can't imagine this isn't the cookbook recipe Heath & Co. are relying on. Giving all benefits of doubt, if this is what Heath & Co. are relying on, it's because of the incredibly heavy push for common core, probably by the Feds, OSPI, Gates, etc., etc. Staff could very well feel they have no choice, or don't want to step in front of the CCSS moving train.

While it remains unacceptable to me to cave into such pressures, or do so for any reason other than what's in the best interests of the community, it does shed some light and fill in some gaps in understanding I've had up to this point. I doubt staff feel they can talk about this openly, so that may explain why we hear such insincere dialogue about "mobility" and such.

It's my working theory, but I'm sticking to it for now.

Anonymous said…
"My hope is that if the Board goes along with the staff rec, that at least some of the Board will state that they will no longer accept work that is not objective and complete from staff on any future votes."

No way, MW. If the Board lets them get away with it this time, they'll do it over and over again. This has to be the vote that stops these manufactured crises once and for all.

We in the community need to be prepared to take the hit and do worksheets until Halloween if that's what it takes to get the right math for the next 7 YEARS!

The board cannot capitulate due to time pressures. Publishers will sell anything, to anyone, at any time, for a price. And we'll gladly pay it.

Staff must be told, once and for all, "you are not going to get away with this."

Stock up your supplies, people. This one may take awhile, because it has to, or it'll all be in vain.

New Day said…
Kathleen V makes a good point. What evidence do we have that students actually move within Seattle Public Schools?

I also agree with Melissa, the staff does shoddy work. Frequently, we do not see contracts etc. attached to action reports. We've never seen this level of detail in district work and it took a feisty board to get them to this point.

I hope the district gets the message that this board will not accept shoddy work, hiding of information, attempts to mislead and hijack process.

It seems the district is very concerned about Common Core tests. There may be a lack of language in InMath, but couldn't teachers supplement?
Anonymous said…
I agree with WSDWG, our district would do better to get it right than to go along with this manufactured crisis.

Besides, Envision is a Pearson curriculum, Pearson is also the developer of the PARCC assessment. The curriculum is going to align with a test and format that isn't even what our students will be tested on. Our state is part of the SBAC consortium, with an adaptive testing structure, I would think that having a stronger curriculum rather than a paint-by-numbers canned PARCC curriculum would be preferable.

Ann D
Anonymous said…
@AnnD: I would phrase the issue this way: What's more important? Getting it done? Or getting it right?

Answers itself, doesn't it?

Anonymous said…
I am both sad and grateful that the true due diligence, on such a, if not THE, critical matter for the future of education for our children is done by community members, not Staff.

It simply should not have to be this way.

Mr. Banda should answer for the process and work that Teaching and Learning has (and has not) done. Glad the Board are not acting like sleeping sheep. They are not micromanaging either, they are doing their fiduciary duty. Thank goodness. I hope they hold him accountable. They should make their expectations clear. I.e.: use data, ALL data, sound data, even data you don't like, then, explain and discuss data, then, draw conclusions and make a recommendation. (To have to explain this to him is sad but apparently necessary).

Middle school math adoption is around the corner, and, I don't want to see a repeat of this.

I want to see the best math text(s) "win". I want to see kids thrive and teachers get the tools they need for their kids.

Perhaps the district can hire Joan S. for the middle school process? She could deliver a sound process, approach and analysis to support effective outcomes. That would be a good start.

Anonymous said…
I thought CC would eliminate the transfer student problem regardless of curriculum. CC is what allows dual adoption.
Anonymous said…
Thank you to very nice comments about my work in support of MIF (dual/single) adoption.

I think the heaviest lifting was done by Directors Peters and McClaren. They put enormous work into preparing their amendments, digging up data, combing through the public disclosures, etc.

Their load was made heavier because of lack of support, even opposition of staff, to a dual adoption of Math In Focus.

And we should be deeply grateful to Ron English for creating the circumstances that made a single adoption of MIF politically possible: Declaring that dual adoption was illegal. Maybe Ron is a closet supporter of explicit instruction? Or does he prefer being known as having been grandly out-witted by the Board?

I wondered same thing about Charles Wright (closet supporter), but naivete is a better explanation. He doesn't seem to know yet how little love there is in the community for data, assessment, technology,...

A little bit of credit goes to staff. In their several pages of analysis of Amendment #1, they made a pretty good case for single adoption, their arguments being pertinent whether the materials would be EnVision or MIF.

It was this analysis that made clear to me how staff could easily sabotage MIF-election schools in a dual adoption. First of all, they could simply find ordering the MIF materials so challenging as to cause the materials to arrive late.

Here's to our four grass roots directors. Bravo!

Joan S (understandably sleepless tonight)

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