Wednesday, February 13, 2008

UW College of Education's
Research That Matters:
My view by DMD jr.

2-13-2008 Seattle School Board Testimony

Good Evening , I am Dan Dempsey.

Research That Matters - YES - Research That Matters – that is the Title. – but ethnically discriminatory curricula is the result.

[For those Watching at Home -- You can Google:
Math Underground Blog to follow the data provided.]
( No need for you - for you are here NOW.)

Research That Matters is the title of a series of five publications produced annually by UW over the last five years.

The last two publications for 2006 and 2007 are:

Research That Matters 4:
Closing the Gap:
New Strategies for a Changing 21st Century Classroom

Research That Matters 5:
Taking Measure, Does Modern Math Education Add Up?

In reference to the above, here is some of the Research That I think really Matters, which unfortunately is not mentioned in either of these College of Education publications.

The Achievement Gap for non-Asian minorities and children of poverty has been constantly growing over the last decade in both Seattle and Bellevue. Tenth Grade WASL Math passing rates produced astonishingly poor numbers for non-Asian minority students in the Spring of 2007.

Let us compare three school districts, which have been riding on the reform math bandwagon. Clover Park 25% of Seattle’s Size, Bellevue 35% of Seattle’s Size, and the Seattle School District.

The percentage of students on Free or Reduced price meals:
Bellevue 17%, Seattle 41% and Clover Park 57%

The percentage of non-Asian minority students:
Bellevue 11.1%, Seattle 35.4% and Clover Park 38.4%
{In what follows: reform math could be mistaken for a covert attempt to maintain Asian-White superiority over non-Asian minority students in math — look at the last decade and the complete abandonment of Project Follow Through’s direct instruction principles replaced by patterns and connections with exploration and inquiry even in the SPS definition of mathematics – Do we wish to produce No Carpenters? – Whatever happened to learning mathematics to gain a useful tool? - You see the SPS neglects the learning of mathematics. Wow!!! is not that an SPS mission to teach mathematics? Guess not - that must be at the root of the current problem.}

For K-8 math:
- Seattle moved closer and closer to TERC/Investigations and Connected Math over the last Decade. Black Students passed the Spring 2007 Math WASL at a 20% rate. – Whites at 71%

- Clover Park officially adopted both TERC/Investigations and Connected Math years ago. Black Students currently passing at a 19% rate.

- Bellevue officially adopted both TERC/Investigations and Connected Math years ago and emphasizes “Fidelity of Implementation” without supplementation and following a strict pacing plan. Black Students passed the Spring 2007 Math WASL at an 18% rate. – Whites at 73%

For Bellevue these were the lowest WASL pass rates ever for Blacks at grade 10 in Math (Spring 2007).

Seattle the last two years encouraged only students who have at least Sophomore credits to take the WASL. Three years ago (2005) the Black pass rate was 13%.

These numbers and the reality they proclaim is entirely missing from UW’s Research That Matters publications.

The title of which should be “UW College of Education Fluffy Fuzzy Self-Promotions”.

In the introduction of Research That Matters 4: Closing the Gap, UW College of Education’s Dean says:

WASL scores for non-Asian Minorities are improving
But she provides NO DATA.
Where is the research??? .. This is not the case for math.

Thank You,

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.
Washington State Board of Education Math Panelist

To Improve a System REQUIRES the intelligent application of relevant data.
-- W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

When will this intelligent application of relevant data ever happen in Washington State Mathematics Education?
Clearly Seattle needs to start now.

In the Quality Counts 2008 study:
Washington ranked #48/51 in eighth grade Math Gap change for "Children of Poverty" (2003-2007).
For most of the US this gap is shrinking but in Washington State it is growing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After reading Research that Matters, the UW ed dept should be taking stock that their pov might be an oversimplification or denial of what is actually happenning in math classrooms.

In the first place, RTM is not pure research, it is a document designed for media consumption.

RTM is a terrible mischaracterization of failing youth. The authors create a new learning disability called Emotional Behavior Disorder or EBD and then blame EBD on students' low achievement. Once again avoiding the real issues regarding teaching and curriculum.

One feels while reading through this nonsense, that these are people groping for a plausible explanation for what they are observing and videotaping. We have no idea what, who, when, or where they are videotaping - we simply have to have faith that they are doing things right. Reality is there are no standards, no verification, no correction for bias.

They are out of their area of expertise and probably have had little or no deep interaction with children who are at the brink of despair. They have never felt what these children feel. I resent these professors - I find their coldness so disturbing.

These monsters (I hesitate to call them people), are like Oracle, without any heart whatsoever. Twain was right to call them colorblind. They perceive themselves as equals to everyone else and judge others to themselves. That is their Democracy. The depth of human life means nothing to them. They are more concerned with sermonizing and keeping up their appearances, to prove to others they are actually engaged in doing something meaningful.

So what? So they can get more grants from the NSF?