Saturday, February 16, 2008

Legislative Update
Saturday 2-16-2008 2:40 PM

This may be the time to be writing your legislator or NOT.
It is very effective to call the legislative hot lines as these keep a numerical tally of responses. When things get intense during the session - a lot of written communication goes unread but those phone tally marks do still count.

Writing your legislator outside of the time the legislature is in session is a really good idea.
If you are not a political heavy weight, writing at this time is usually not productive - unless of course you have established a previous relationship.

Well here is today's 2-16-2008 run down:

Feb 15 --> HB 3166 - Concerning the design of the state assessment system and the WASL, passed out of the House 94 – 0 with Glenn Anderson’s amendment that removed end-of-course assessments in Integrated Math I and II, leaving only assessments in Algebra I and Geometry! This will replace the HS math WASL.

This is a very encouraging sign and will be fabulous if it makes it into law!

HB 3166 also improves the WASL by shortening it through reducing the number of short answer and extended response questions and requires SPI to provide diagnostic tools that are inexpensive, easily administered, and quickly and easily scored, with results provided in a format that may be easily shared with parents and students.
HB 3166 is scheduled for a public hearing 2/21, 6:00 pm.

What a plan - a return to a sane expenditure of money and actually creating a tool that has the potential to produce worthwhile results!!!! Not continuing down the expensive dead end current Math WASL road -- humm... think I heard Dr Rich Semler testify about this last year - Oh yes Richland SD piloted the MAP test to replace the WASL because it was diagnostic, inexpensive, easily administered, and quickly and easily scored, with results provided in a format is easily shared with parents and students.
The MAP went nowhere - it was piloted by several school districts as a possible WASL replacement but Dr Bergeson failed to submit the required paper work to the FEDS for them to perform a peer review to authorize the MAP as a WASL replacement for AYP (adequate yearly progress).

I believe that Dr. Semler's plan was to have achievement measured three times during the year using the MAP and gauge the child's progress on the progress the child makes rather than using some artificial bar as the goal. [WOW!! an educationally sound idea]

Dr Semler's plan was cheaper, less time consuming ( yes the MAP three times is faster than the WASL one time), provided instant analysis for use by the teacher as it is a computerize branching test. Of even greater importance is the fact that the MAP plan is educationally sound, while the WASL is not.

The idea of continuing with a more expensive, almost useless non-nationally normed test escapes me. Perhaps it keeps our unemployment rate low by employing a vast number of people both within and outside of Washington. Couldn't we find a more effective way to expend our funds. I just do not know.... but then I am not the Superintendent of Public Instruction - write Terry Bergeson or your legislator for possible answers as I have none. Wait I do have one -- Elect Dr Semler as Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Updates on the other bills that effect k-12 Math

HB 2598 - Directing the office of the superintendent of public instruction to issue a request for proposals for development of an online mathematics curriculum. It passed out of the House 91 -6. It requires the SPI to adapt an existing math curriculum to be aligned with new standards and available at no cost to school districts. {Will Singapore Math apply for an RFP? I think I shall notify Indian Math online to apply.} It also preserved the language of HB 1906 to keep SBE as final say in textbook selections, and extended the timelines.
HB2598 is scheduled for a public hearing 2/21, 10:00 am.

HB 6534 –Regarding the revision of math standards, passed out to the Senate 48 – 0. It’s still a shell and hopefully details will be added this week.

HB 3317 - Regarding standards and curriculum in mathematics and science, set to go the House Floor with Ross Hunter’s amendment that brings it inline with SB 6534.

More on BILL UPDATEs with url addresses:

HB 2598 – Online Math

OSPI shall develop and issue requests for proposals for private / nonprofit vendors to adapt existing math curriculum to the EALR’s and GLE’s. OSPI gets to review and analyze the responses and give a report to the Governor and ed committees in December.

Passed the house and is into the Senate for a hearing on Feb 21st – 10:00 am
All members of the education committee voted for the bill. 91 yes – 6 no votes

HB 3166 – Design of the State Assessment System and the WASL (focus on end-of-course)

The 2009 administration of OSPI is charged with redesigning the assessment system
OSPI, with consultation of the SBE, shall develop end-of-course tests that is aligned with state standards. These end-of-course assessments can replace the WASL.
Passed 96 yes 4 not voting
No Senate hearing scheduled yet.

Anderson amendment is on page 3 removed all references to “integrated math” and left the focus on algebra and geometry.

HB 2808 – Additional opportunities for students who fail the WASL to graduate

The bill promotes alternative ways to help students graduate including extensive training of mentors and teachers. The training for the teachers is through the summer / winter learning institutes and other programs
Passed 97 yes 1 not voting

HB 3317 – Regarding Standards and Curriculum in Mathematics and Science

The Hunter amendment tightens up the language to be stronger in promoting rigor, content, and specificity, similar to the Senate version of a place holder.

The bill has not passed out of the house yet.

SB 6534 – Regarding the revision of mathematics standards

The bill has passed out of the senate unchanged with 48 yes – 1 not voting.
Scheduled for House hearing Feb 21 at 6:00 pm.

SB 6673 – Creating learning opportunities for 11th and 12th graders

To help students that are not completing the normal options to graduate. Focus is on ESL and students with learning challenges. Opportunities include extended classroom time, PSAT for 9th graders and tuition assistance.

SB 6726 – Granting PESB authority

Grants more authority to the Professional Educators Standards Board to oversee teacher certification process.

Definitely time to pick up the phone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dan - this summary is unbelievably great!


Dear Fellow Math Teachers,

IF you do NOT contact your legislators abou tour state's math disaster for OUR kids,

YOU deserve the worthless training, the ridiculous 'research', the useless 'best' ha ha ha practices, the vapid curriculum,

but our kids don't.

YOU need to do more than bitch in the teacher's lounge or hide in your room.

anon in seattle.