Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why not the Obvious ???

January 9, 2008

Seattle can not find a certificated math teacher willing to accept employment at Aki Kurose. Why? I think it may have to do with trying to teach the unteachable--- No, No, my reference is not to the students at Aki Kurose but rather the district curriculum CMP2.

The district’s reform math efforts k-8 have produced chaos rather than improvement during the last decade. Everyday Math will hardly produce much of an improvement if we are looking for mathematically better prepared students to be entering Aki in the future. This will be especially true if the administrative mandate for “Fidelity of Implementation” is followed.

The SPS has been experimenting on the children in a haphazard fashion with reform math for several years with TERC/Investigations k-5 and CMP at the middle level. Despite SPS k-12 Mathematics Program Director Ms. Rosalind Wise’s statements about CMP2’s successful implementation in the school year 2006-2007 let us look at a bit of the Aki data. The best analytical tool is by cohort comparison data, unfortunately WASL math is all we have because SPS ended Iowa ITBS testing in Spring 2005. Let us follow scores as grade 6 moved to 7th and grade 7 moved to 8th during the implementation year.

Here is what happened to those two Aki cohort groups during the “supposed” successful implementation of CMP2 in the 2006-2007 School Year. Achievement GAPS for Aki cohort groups vs State all students and vs SPS white students. Reveal the following:

Following two cohort groups vs State All students
6th Grade Math Spring 2006 to 7th grade Math Spring 2007
GAP 29.6% increased to GAP 32.8%

7th Grade Math Spring 2006 to 8th grade Math Spring 2007
GAP 33% remained constant at GAP 33%

Following the same two cohort groups vs SPS White students,
6th Grade Math Spring 2006 to 7th grade Math Spring 2007
GAP 50.5% increased to GAP 51.6%

7th Grade Math Spring 2006 to 8th grade Math Spring 2007
GAP 52.1% increased to GAP 53.5%

If a goal was to reduce the achievement GAP in Mathematics at Aki Kurose, then CMP2 failed in meeting that goal during its implementation year.
Grade 6 to 7 reveals a failure to reduce the GAP and same for Grade 7 to 8.

For disadvantaged learners there appears to be no end in sight for the SPS’s unsuccessful experimentation on Students of Color with reform math curricula in the South End schools.

The new student assignment plan may increase scores somewhat by forcing many bussed students to return to Aki. Hopefully the South-East initiative will also have a positive impact. Why not do the obvious and adopt non-discriminatory, internationally competitive math curricula and practices?

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