Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Washington Math Standards are HERE

The second draft of the "Dana Center - Bergeson Math Standards" are now available.

Another set of standards the "Washington Exemplary Math Standards 2008" is also available released by an expert writing team at "Where's the Math?".

Draft #2 of the DC-B Standards looks to be greatly improved but still needs further significant improvement. Particularly troubling is the language that is likely to exclude most of the best math text books in the world. Draft #2 standards still require multiple arithmetic algorithms. In many top performing nations the books require and teach only one standard algorithm for each operation.

The goal of this standards rewrite was to be to bring the Washington Math Standards from a grade of "F" to being internationally competitive
Here are the links to both:

The Washington Exemplary Mathematics Standards 2008

Draft #2 from the Dana Center - Bergeson Rewrite team
currently titled -
Washington K-12 Mathematics Standards

A review of both documents will lead to the question how can a volunteer writing team produce an internationally competitive set of math standards when Dr. Bergeon is spending in excess of $750,000 on the Washington K-12 Mathematics Standards?

The answer is easy. The volunteer team did exactly what was asked. They looked at the Standards of the best states and nations and wrote their document. After all the low bid for this job was only $130,000 by StandardsWorks. Why did Dr. Bergeson choose to spend over $600,000 more than that is perhaps best answered by Senator Val Stevens article.

Everett Herald Commentary by Senator Stevens

Senator Stevens appears to have a reasonably complete picture of what is happening.


Are we being mislead again? At a cost of $750,000+

Previously posted: Dana Center experts speak on how to mislead the public.

The video below from You Tube shows, the Director of the Dana Center, Uri Treisman and Phil Daro who is also from the Dana Center explaining how to mislead the public.

Long Version

Short Version:


When looking at what Dr. Bergeson put together for the rewrite team. It appears she seriously neglected:

1. Representatives from the business community

Compare the composition of the SBE Math Panel with the Rewrite team. Business representatives were called for in the Plattner small team recommendations but business community representatives who use mathematics are curiously absent from the Rewrite team, the State Board of Education's Math Panel had several.

2. Active Mathematicians - who have published something in the last decade.


Here is the volunteer team that produced the Exemplary Standards:
(Notice the business experience.)

Bob Brandt,
MA Math Education, Stanford, BA Mathematics/Computer Science, UCLA, Retired Software Engineer and Educator

Richard Burke,
BSME, U of W, Engineer

Bob Dean,
BA Mathematics, MA Teaching; Math Dept Chair, Evergreen High School, Vancouver, WA

Norma Dermond,
BA U of W, Data Analyist

Tara Gallagher,
BS, Bookkeeper

Marta Gray,
MS, Education, BS University of Portland, Teacher

Ellen Lund,
BA+ Elementary Education, U of W, Retired Teacher, Educational Consultant and Curriculum Developer

Jock Mackinlay,
PhD, MS Computer Science, Stanford University, BA Mathematics and Computer Science, UC Berkeley, Computer Scientist at Tableau Software

Martha McLaren,
BA History, University of Washington, Middle School Math Teacher

Kathy Moellenberndt,
BA Education, U of W, MA Teacher Leadership, Lesley College, Gd 1-3 Teacher

Linh-Co Nguyen,
BA Mathematics U of W, K-8 Teacher

Ted Nutting,
BA Math, Notre Dame; M.Ed. Western Washington University, High School Math Teacher, Former Captain in US Coast Guard

Richard D. Padrick,
PE; BSCE, California State Polytechnic College, Retired Engineer

J. Wilson,
BA Sociology, Master of Education (M.Ed.), Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Teacher, Elementary School

Polle T. Zellweger,
PhD Computer Science, UC Berkeley, MS Computer Science, University of New Mexico, BA Mathematics, University of Alaska, Computer Scientist formerly at Xerox


Anonymous said...

tonight's song and dance sounded like WTM had been co-opted.

some questions:

1. more training and more PD for teachers, but, they aren't going to tell teachers how to teach the new stuff. Huh? What is the point of the PD?

2. curricula problems - state of WA may need to have its own curricula designed for its standards?

huh? so under the guise of being cutting edge we're going back on another 12 or 15 year merry go round of next-year the test / the training / the books / the standards


will be what they need to be?

tonight she sounded like she's fixing everything the way it needs to be fixed.

hold onto your wallet.


Anonymous said...

If you are Latino, you have a very good case for discrimination. Go into any alternative program and ask the kids to write down a math autobiography. Who graduates from one of those schools? How was the program any different from the regular program. My experience shows that the program was not substantially different from the regular program, except the kids were made to read the book by themselves without a teacher. Kids have a acquired a whole new set of lingo to describe their situation. A super senior is a kid that's been in high school for six years. I know kids that have never passed a math class since 6th grade and they can't multiply. They've never been taught. Washington's schools are a disgrace and yes the textbooks and the so-called constructivist teaching methods are to blame. Constructivism is a mislabeling for discovery learning. Its intentionally misused, so Latinos can't get an education. Are their racists in public schools? Indeed yes, Washington has a serious problem - the correct term is racial polarization and its critical. The first step is throw out Bergerson and a complete cleaning out of all the garbage that sits in OSPI.
On paper the turnover of 9th graders is 1 out of 8 - in actuality its closer to 1 out of 4 at least in our school. The majority are illiterate or Latino - you are going to see some of the largest number of dropouts ever recorded this year as a direct result of failed educational policies. A Republican should not even consider running for office.

Anonymous said...

The math reform folks are doing damage control. Don't be fooled by the pr stunts some of these idiots are trying to pull on the internet. This is a letter that was pulled from LSCNet and used on another blog. Notice the incorrect use of pronouns. Liars at the Show-Me Center - Goldenberg aka Chaney and Gupta Merlino. Goldie sat on the NSF grant committee in 2003. He's buddies with Issacs at UC Chicago.

Here's the letter - you should do a search and see how many times it gets posted - and its a complete fake.

Visit my school and we will show you what we love about math and how we have grown as professionals over the past six years. Whether we use Everyday Math another six years doesn't matter. We are better teachers because of our experience with the high expectations found in the Everyday Math program now being emulated by publishers hoping to get our textbook funds. Our students will reap the rewards of our improved ability to understand, teach, and guide for understanding.

A******s don't know the meaning of ethics. Race haters

Anonymous said...

PS ... and it looks like they can't write either.

Anonymous said...

Small minds believe in the laws of small numbers.

The miracle behind standardized math is that schools use it at all.

dan dempsey said...

Go check out the Charlie Mas Post on the Dr. Terry Bergeson's Public Math forum held at Roosevelt High School on Tuesday night to discuss the math standards.

It was really a program designed to get as little input as possible by wasting enormous amounts of time listening to Dr. Bergeson and two other folks before being broken into discussion groups for a very limited time.


Michael Rice said...

I have copies of both the new state standards and the Wheres the Math standards. Now the State's document is 118 pages and the WTM document is 66 pages. I don't have time to read and analyze both documents, I'm too busy actually trying to teach math. It would be nice to see an unbiased grade by grade comparison of the competing standards. I'm sure the WTM standards are excellent, but I'm also sure the the State's new standards have something to offer also. It would be nice to see them compared, so I can make determine where each set of standards are outstanding and where each set of standards may be lacking.

Anonymous said...

How would you describe Rainier Beach's math curriculum - what textbook are you using for algebra? Are you using any supplemenatary materials? How many 10th and 11th graders would you say are enrolled in Intermediate Algebra?

The idea that you can teach kids from a set of standards, rather than an effective set of textbooks seems counterproductive.

Michael Rice said...


We use College Prep Math at Rainier Beach for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2. I do some supplementing when I find interesting things, but I more or less follow CPM because I like it and it seems to connect with our students.

I have only two Sophomores in Algebra 2. Most of the Sophomores who are capable of this level of work are in Honors Algebra 2. I have more or less a 50-50 split between Juniors and Seniors in Algebra 2.

I don't understand the comment: The idea that you can teach kids from a set of standards, rather than an effective set of textbooks seems counterproductive.

Standards drive what we have to teach. It is up to the School Board to determine what the most effective curriculum is. I am very curious to see what the new standards will be and what curriculum will be adopted. I do have to say that I am not optimistic that the standards will be rigorous enough and that a strong curriculum will be selected.

dan dempsey said...

Hey Mike Rice,

You said....I do have to say that I am not optimistic that the standards will be rigorous enough and that a strong curriculum will be selected.

Your pessimism will certainly be realized unless the legislature intervenes. I, in my biased view, think there is a reasonable chance that the legislature will do a significant intervention especially with some public prodding.

Dr. Bergeson:
1. Hired the High bidder
2. Largely ignored the SBE recommendations in the Plattner report.
3. Has ignored most of what the NSF funded Mathematics Standards Study Group recommends for states to do in revising their math standards.

On the other hand, the writing team from "Where's the Math?" has followed both the SBE recommendations and the MSSG recommendations.

The question now becomes will the legislature allow the math disaster to continue just because Dr. Bergeson spends $1+ million to give us more of the same in a new wrapper.

Here or in the Sub-Prime Melt Down posting, click on the following:

3. The 2004 MSSG paper: "What is Important in School Mathematics?"

It is absolutely amazing how far off base Dr. Bergeson has this process wandering with the $1+ million expenditure.

Our only chance for success is if the legislature has the courage to say: "Dr. Bergeson you are not doing what HB 1906 was designed to do. You were to end the Math Mess you created and instead you plan to continue it."

Anonymous said...

How long has Rainier been implementing CPM and which CPM textbook is used in pre-algebra.
Is this an alt ed program? What are the feeder schools? and which textbook is used there? Do any students make it past Algebra II.

Your staff seems very young and hard-working no doubt. Do you have a Title I coordinator/resource teacher by any chance?

No doubt you have to supplement. You might have better look using Marcy Cook materials in your support classes - 1-10 counters. Its less work for the teacher so you can manage the classroom and less threatening for students.

Teaching is the music, standards are only the notes.

Anonymous said...

When you teach its up to you to make sure your students leave knowing that they learned something. Your students trust you and they will resent you more for not teaching them.

The board does not have to face your class every day but you do. Everyone is counting on you to do your job regardless of what's been given to you.

My school board appreciated me more because I took the initiative to use what was best for my students. It didn't matter if my kids couldn't read I taught them math without pencils or paper. We did it without a textbook sometimes and our students were happy and we did just fine on tests, we kept a high enrollment and everyone graduated (that was the most stressful part and why I preferred younger students.) I kept some of my kids for 3-5 years. One student I taught off an on for seven years and I taught other subjects too.

But we kept our kids at our school, we didn't let them go easily. We made support math classes electives so kids could earn credit. Our administrators listened to teachers and we ran the school and the support program - we had an SSC and the principal was the secretary. That is what is so different for me to understand around here. I wouldn't love teaching, unless I loved what I taught, and my students loved it too. Why doesn't that make sense to people around here?

Teachers here are so mistreated and kids don't get rewarded enough. There are much better environments for children, you just don't have them around here at least from what I've seen.

Anonymous said...

If an administrator told me to use a book and knew in advance that students couldn't learn from that book I would complain loud and clear all the way to the school board, Olympia, and the Governor. It would no doubt be the lousiest math program I would have ever seen and undoubtably I would accept another job elsewhere.

But so what. I could not face my students every day knowing they would never be able to pass - that would be amoral and that community would be a racist one as well. That is not a community I could ever respect.

Anonymous said...

School boards hire teachers, not mannikins. How would you feel if you were given a textbook and told to read it every day and you didn't comprehend one word of it. Its different, you've been college-educated. These kids dream about going to college, you don't. To teach, you need the zeal of a missionary, not a vicar.

Anonymous said...

The WASL is neither fiscally nor educationally cost effective. Millions of dollars have already been spent writing the EALR’s, determining the standards, writing the assessments, and paying for scoring. It is apparent that these costs will continue to grow as other assessments are added and reliable scoring sought. Along with this, children are spending untold hours being taught the assessment, and then taking it. The learning loss cannot be justified. In fact, finding ways to pass the assessment can make students ineligible for support services. Especially in view of NCLB with regard to vendors offering tutoring services. Let them continue and they will continue disgracing themselves in front of their colleagues and the entire world - what a bunch of cowards - money for diplomas.

Anonymous said...

Where is WTM now? I am a parent in the Bellevue SD and tecacher in the Edmonds SD. I have been watching WTM and the work they are doing. I am beginning to wonder if WTM truly has the interest of WAshington children in mind or their own personal agendas. Bellevue SD has decided to adopt a very constructivist program, Math Expressions. Why isn't WTM targeting Math Expressions? I am hearing that the author has a relationship with Dr. Milgram. Hmmm...Edmonds SD is currently working on an adoption. I am one of the members of the adoption committee. The leadership in the district set up the adoption to continue to use constructivist programs. In fact, Everyday Mathematics was and I quote,"too serious and rigorous for our district." Edmonds is going to have a short pilot of three programs Math Expressions, Bridges and Growing With Math. They are getting rid of Investigations and replacing it with another constructivist program. WTM has been so consumed with Investigations, CMP and others that they have not been watching these other very constuctivist programs emerge. It makes me wonder if WTM has an agenda specifically targeted at a few programs. WTM will be intersted to note that the committee in both Bellevue and Edmonds thougth Everyday Mathematics was more traditional then the other programs. I would like to identify myself but my position in the Edmonds SD would be jeopardized.