Thursday, April 17, 2008

K-8 Math Standards Delay Needed to Ensure Public Input

Respected Leaders,

I am writing to you today concerning the impending adoption of the K-8 math standards which will be considered and potentially adopted on Friday, April 18 th, 2008. I have attached a review that I completed regarding the most recent draft created by The Dana Center and OSPI. You will notice that the items of color are in need of revision in order to improve clarity, measurability, and rigor and to ensure that the standards we are to live with for the next decade are of world class quality.

I am asking as a math teacher, and as a mom, that we slow down this process so that the public has an opportunity to participate by giving input and to ensure that a comparison of these standards is done with the exemplar standards. I am not convinced that this process has lived up to the expectations put forth by the legislature in SB6534. Didn't this legislation require a comparison to the exemplars and a public process for input? Is there anything we can do to ensure that the intent of the legislature is fulfilled? This process feels like it's shrouded in secrecy if you ask me. There's miniscule turn around time for every input and it's practically impossible to complete a review and submit input before the next round of decisions are made. Draft 5 of the math standards just became available and the decision to adopt is tomorrow?? How is the public able to participate in this process if we are given insufficient time to react?

I'm sorry to sound cynical but I have tried in earnest to participate in this process but my efforts have been stymied at every turn. Once again, OSPI rams through their ideologically driven agenda and the constituents of this state are thrust to the sidelines to watch the special interests of those in power come to fruition. Makes me wonder if we live in a democracy.

Most Respectfully,

Marta Gray
Vancouver, Washington

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