Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seattle's Decision Making Stinks
School Board Testimony 3-12-2008

Good Evening - I am Dan Dempsey. 3-12-2008

Successful large corporations employ professionals and follow processes to produce optimal outcomes. Boeing and Russell Investment are both famous for results. Large Urban School districts despite following process produce poor results. Why?

A profession is characterized by decision-making that improves both practice and results. This improvement comes about by the intelligent application of relevant data. Large corporations invest heavily in their professionals.

You, School Board Directors, are very big on following process and approve almost every decision that moves before you.

Why are we NOT in the same class with Boeing and Russell as decision-makers?

In Seattle process is followed but flawed. The flaw is that education is not a profession. The board follows the direction of administrators who are not professionals.

Education is not characterized by decision-making that improves either practice or results. No improvement comes about because the relevant data is regularly ignored. The ignoring of relevant data is now standard practice for Seattle decision-making.

The job of a school director is to notice when a process is seriously flawed and do something about it. Please do something.

A…. The last two math adoptions were a disaster – the process was followed and the results were pathetic. In Math, Seattle and Tacoma both used new Middle School adoptions in 2006-2007. The results for Low Income middle school students revealed Tacoma’s Saxon Math far superior to Seattle’s Connected Math adoption.

B…. Dr Goodloe-Johnson’s West Seattle six-period day mandate is contradicted by almost all the relevant data.

C…. The Denny-Sealth co-location process failed to show any examples of successful large urban middle / high schools. Facilities planned this without even one successful similar example. Now this board has approved spending $135,000,000 on an idea without an example or even a prototype. Boeing would never be in production without a prototype. Why are you?

The public has been told to get involved earlier in the process. Exactly when would that be?

The board does not require the administration to justify their whimsical decisions. So What would be the point of earlier public involvement?

Vast quantities of data were presented over several months in the Elementary School math adoption. The NCTM Focal Points and the State Board Math consultant’s recommendations all pointed to the folly of Everyday Math. It then became the primary math text for elementary schools. The board approved it 6-0.

One third of students entering Seattle high schools cannot test above level 1 on their 8th grade math WASL. The district administrators know better than to recommend a real math book, so Interactive Math is still the high school candidate. I urge you to change this defective process and vote NO. Please overturn the reform Math Hoax, by adopting real mathematics books. Please put effective decision making in place. {–For further insight watch the documentary movie “Flunked” coming soon.}

Thank You, Dan Dempsey dempsey_dan@yahoo.com


Anonymous said...

The catch is if you adopt singapore for high school, but the students haven't been through the Singapore series, the math will be incomprehensible for the high school students. To do a correct adopton, Singapore has to be implemented in the Elementary grades first, then the upper grades. Our high school students probably work at comfortable level in the fifth grade sinapore book. Having kids take a Singapore placement test will help you see what I mean.

dan dempsey said...

Anon you make some excellent points. Transition will be troublesome as the decade long Bergeson Math disaster will take years to recover from. Bill Gates testified in Washington today and the National Math Panel Report comes out tomorrow Thursday 3-13-2008.

I can guarantee you that any student that can not score above level 1 on the 8th grade math WASL will not be able to place into Singapore grade five. I would estimate that the majority of the bottom third of entering Seattle 9th graders would have a difficult time placing into Singapore grade 3. I've given that placement test to several high school students many do not place into grade three by the results.

Anonymous said...

Well done, I didn't think it was so bad. Instead of trying to find escuses for not adopting Singapore, we should be adopting it straight out and fixing the problems directly rather than listen to a bunch of sore losers.

They are saying US children are somehow inferior to other children - a bunch of Southern Baptist simpletons - would be richer food for alligators, except for their mild indigestion afterward - at least I could tolerate their farting noises, rather than be subjected to the shrewish trills of reform mumbo-jumbo.

Its like Hector being paraded and shown around the battlefield by Achilles. Hector was such a wise person, he deserved and received the exceptional treatment shown him by his enemies.

It makes no difference what standards we adopt. The children will always turn out problematic because its the textbooks we are using.

Imbecile Merlino thinks its the lead in the water that makes kids and teachers go crazy everytime they do math his way. Primordial Briars can't count past nine. And Treisman, the absent-minded professor, wonders how this whole thing could still be blowing up after all these years...

Anonymous said...

A product of Lakeside, hoping to solve the ills of the world. Don't expect much - they're the opposition. Who put them in charge? $$$

Next reform movements kids get microchip implants and Nintendo titles like:

Socratic Math in a box
Agile finger math
Napier's Apocalyptic Math
Direct Core Plus (shoot me)
Canned IMP
Everyman's Math Tools
Cognate Math Tutor w/voice of briars doing your thinking for you. (shoot me again)