Tuesday, February 5, 2008

from: UW Education Department -- Research that Matters -- No Not Really

I thought I would try to find a previous year's electronic version of the UW Department of Education brochure as the current release to legislators Taking Measure is not available in electronic form for the public. I was hoping to find that any positions on mathematics were not so statistically inaccurate and horribly one sided as this year's edition. Last year's publication was titled: Closing the Gap.

Unfortunately what I found in "Closing the Gap" was no better than this year's edition. I could not even make it past Dean Wasley's introduction without finding incredible errors.
From her introduction:
Minority parents’ expectations are high, but too often, their children’s performances are low. Seattle Public School statistics show that the percentage of children of color who enter high school will increase 10 percent each year over the next century. What percentage will give up and quit? The drop-out rate is a constant worry.
Data analysis by UW Ed. Dept. is my constant worry.

Here Dean Wasley is looking at the equivalent of an exponential growth function applied to 59 cents with an annual compounded return of 10%. Am I to think that after 100 years my investment will be worth less than one dollar?

An exponential growth function with a growth rate of 10% annually for a century --> An investment of 59 cents in 2005 will be worth $1.04 in 2011 and in 2105 worth $8,130.56

Y = 0.59 (1.1)^x produces these results for Y given x years after 2005

Year after 2005 ---- percent of non-white students
0 --> 59%
1 --> 64.9%
2 --> 71.39%
3 --> 78.529%
4 --> 86.382%
5 --> 95.02%
6 -> 104.52% (this is for 2011. If you think this is strange try 100 years later in 2105)
100 --> 813,056.128%
Very odd I thought you could not have more than 100% of the population be non-white.
Oh well its a melting pot - It appears our math brains have melted.

Please hire a high school sophomore taking a real math course at Roosevelt or a work/study UW upper division math or engineering major to proof read the Education school's documents and definitely do not believe anything from the Seattle Public Schools unless you fact check it.

I guess a little more math in the everyday work environment might be of some benefit. This has been in publication for a year. Apparently no one ever reads this stuff or questions it.
Hey its just the Education School at the UW -- No critical thinking required, just follow the leader.

More from Dean Wasley's introduction from the brochure:
"The gap in achievement in this state and in our nation resides squarely between races and is demarcated by poverty. In Washington, the drop-out rate for most minority students and limited-English speakers is about twice that of whites. Test scores show similar divides. Although their numbers are showing improvement, non-Asian minorities typically score 20 or more points lower than their white counterparts on Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) tests."
Nope wrong again:
"Although their numbers are showing improvement,
non-Asian minorities typically score 20 or more points lower than their white counterparts on Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) tests." <-- Definitely NOT True

In Seattle and in Bellevue two hot beds of reform math the WASL Achievement Gap for Black and Hispanic students has been constantly growing over the last decade.
In fact in Washington State as reported in Quality Counts 2008 the change in the learning Gap for Children of Poverty has been growing for both 4th grade reading and eighth grade math. Nationally both gaps are shrinking but in Washington both gaps are growing as measured from 2003 to 2007.
Washington (2003-2007) ranks #42 in gap change for grade 4 reading and #48 for grade 8 math.

Why would our legislature rely on an opinion about math from the UW Education School?
I can only believe it is because of follow the leader politics. At least now I know why math teachers and the kids they teach are continually getting shafted in Washington state.
This education school is listened to by decision makers - now you know one of the major reasons USA and in particular Washington state k-12 mathematics is sliding downhill.

Research could matter, if the UW would objectively read some.

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

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Current Math Gaps in Bellevue:
..........grades.. 10th ... 7th ... 4th
Black Students.... 55% - 53% - 59%
Hispanic Students 41% - 46% - 40%

White 10th grade students in B.vue --> 73% WASL math pass rate
Black 10th grade students in B.vue --> 18% WASL math pass rate
Thus the Math Gap is 55% at grade 10 for Black students. The 18% pass rate is the lowest in the last nine years. The 55% is the largest gap ever. UW COE Dean Wasley and Washington legislators this is not an improvement.

The UW College of Education ignores the best k-6 Math books in the world.
Singapore Math is written in simple basic English because over 50% of the children come from homes in which English is not the primary language. This is the curriculum of the top math nation in the world. How about closing the gap?
Read the research.


Anonymous said...

I am fascinated that the LIFE project is entitled Everyday Science, because of the similarities to Everyday Math?

There happens to be a curriculum writing project taking place at the Univ of Pittsburgh called Everyday Science Curriculum


Is the UW piloting curriculum or doing actual research in cognitive psychology? There should be separate protocols. You can't be objective doing both.

Anonymous said...

Other evidence this suggests might be the case is the Everyday Science curriculum project is a partnership with the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute and the Carnegie Mellon Foundation.

The previous working relationship between program director Helen Faison (former deputy director) and Diane Briars (sup) is obvious. Diane Briars was responsible for the early implementation of Everyday Math.

Also there is Lam's connection to the Council of Greater City Schools and the Broad Foundation.

Focusing on Achievement in Pittsburgh City Schools

So this is a perfect example of how textbooks are piloted for schools.

Anonymous said...

has Dan had any response from the pooh-bahs about this disgusting marketing ploy.

a publicly funded institution,

uses public money for 'research',

on public policy,

about public education,

BUT the 'research' is NOT PUBLIC.

I gwess if I have graduate degee I could be two smart tow to?

dan dempsey said...

No -- Dan has not had a response to his letters to UW President Emmert, Provost Wise, or College of Education Dean Wasley.

Mr Ted Nutting of Ballard High School wrote to Pres. Emmert congratulating him on an article that Dr Emmert wrote.

In the article Emmert said that our ill-educated kids would end up washing the cars of the educated people who come here to work. Ted encouraged him to start looking into the pathetic math performance and investigating what was happening in the C of Ed. Ted suggested that Dr Emmert consult his math department but not his math ed department on this matter.

Ted received the following response:{from you guessed it the Dean of the College of Ed}

Dear Mr. Nutting,

I am responding on behalf of University of Washington President Mark Emmert to your email of January 20, 2008. Thank you for your message and for the work you do on behalf of Washington students. I know that math achievement is a critical issue in the education of all children throughout Washington State. I am also aware that there are strong and divergent opinions on how we should address this matter. The University of Washington has well-respected faculty members who hold widely diverse yet equally sincere positions on either side of this issue. The ability to respectfully debate, discuss, and disagree with colleagues is central to the environment of the University of Washington. We believe it is important for a full range of opinions to be aired.

I believe that we all share a commitment to providing the best education for all Washington students; I wish you well in your endeavors.


Pat Wasley

Patricia A. Wasley
Dean and Professor
University of Washington
College of Education
222 Miller Hall
Box 353600
Seattle, WA 98195-3600
206-543-5390 Phone
206-685-1713 Fax
Sincerity trumps science - wow this is better than Creationism trumps Darwin. Research University??
Whoops! - I responded to quickly.
The Physics, Engineering, & Chemistry departments probably have one view and the College of Ed the other.
What Dean Wasley is not aware of is that at a research University, most decisions should be based on unbiased research rather than philosophical hunches.

She apparently has little time to read spreadsheets from Seattle and Bellevue showing these school districts' extreme failure to serve Black and Hispanic students in Math. At least the WASL math spreadsheets from the last decade of decline at grades 4, 7, and 10 in the SPS and BSD, appear not to have come to her attention.

Dean Wasley does have time enough to write in publications that things are improving for non-White non-Asian minorities in math just not fast enough. The data I see indicates a pronounced decline not an improvement. But Hey who am I to say - I am just using the WASL Math data and even though that is all I have - I still think that trumps philosophical hunches.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant statistics. Scorecard currently indicates College of Ed is 0 for 2 in their last two at bats. Will they ever get a hit?

Anonymous said...

Exposure has to begin at the state level. The non-disclosed contract with Carkhuff and Bergerson's prior relationship with Carkhuff was referred to an ethics committee. Where's the report?

The former superintendent of two Greene County school districts and another former school administrator were each sentenced yesterday to up to 18 months in jail and to pay nearly $81,000 in penalties for their arrangement of contracts with a company in which they both had an interest. The program these two created was for at-risk youths. These type of in-house programs (No-C-ums) are quite common in small rural districts where school boards are none the wiser. Where's the oversight and how do we make people accountable. It is possible to have a norm where no one is held responsible.

Its been very profitable for administrators to create their own alternative programs and sell them to school districts for exhorbitant fees. They are so poorly managed, ill-conceived, and neglectful of students that children leave. The result is a boost in AYP.

In Washington, the lack of oversight and accountability is even worse, that is evident by the massive numbers of students who change programs, transfer out of schools, and eventually drop out. These children without will cost the state more money, than if they had tried to educate them in the first place.

In Washington, this appears to be the norm. Without consequences the destructive efficiency of reform-minded administrators on public education will be long-lasting and irreversible.

Anonymous said...

A year-long investigation of the Lancaster School District made public today by Auditor General Robert P. Casey, Jr. details former Superintendent Vicki Phillips' failure to effectively monitor district practices, the school board's complete abdication of its responsibility to oversee district spending, and former Superintendent Ricardo Curry's brazen violation of the public trust. Casey's investigation, which covered the 1997-98 through 2003-04 school years, provides new details of the waste of taxpayer dollars on bogus consultants, restaurant and hotel bills, personal cell phone calls, and even Karaoke tapes.

"Our investigation confirmed and expanded upon numerous allegations of waste, fraud and abuse that deprived students in the Lancaster School District of vital resources that should have been used to improve teaching and learning," Casey said. "The problems we documented were widespread and, in many cases, either condoned or ignored by district administrators and the school board."

Casey's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) began its investigation of the district in December 2003 after receiving complaints of alleged misuse of funds and conflicts of interest relating to the actions of then-Superintendent Curry. In January 2004, OSI learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was also investigating the allegations against Curry, who resigned in January 2004 and later pleaded guilty to mail fraud. OSI conducted its investigation in cooperation with the federal inquiry, focusing on consulting services, the district's Cultural Translator Program, credit card abuse, and cell phone use.

District failed to monitor approximately $3.2 million spent on educational consultants

This is intolerable. These people need to be doing serious time. Instead, their running school districts into the ground on the West coast.

You won't see any improvement in education, until you remove the dead wood. Start with the UW and OSPI.