Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Vote for FIXED process

Mike Miller votes for FIXED and provides his rationale.

There is no question (in my mind) that the standards revision process was designed at every step to produce a pre-determined outcome. The primary goal of OSPI (TB) was engineer the revision process in such a way, that ultimately the “framework” or “parameters” set forth by the new standards would allow for the continuance of the reform agenda (status quo).

Attached is a letter from Brogan (ISD Asst Sup) to Rasmussen (new incoming ISD Sup) from last summer. The main purpose of the letter is to assure Rasmussen that the recently adopted curricula (Everyday Math) would fit into WA State’s revamped standards & subsequent preferred curricula. This, before the standards revision process even began, and almost 1 full year before the decisions on preferred curricula. Hmmm… How could she (Brogan) have been so certain?

Additionally, it appears (to no surprise) that OSPI has engineered the IMR process to ensure the same pre-determined outcome. The first link in the Brogan/Rasmussen letter… http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/Mathematics/pubdocs/K-12MathematicsComputationFluencyReportFinal.pdf

... is to the K-12 Computational Fluency Supplemental program review, conducted one year ago. To my un-educated eye, it appears that the review of these curricula was conducted with an entirely different “weighting criterion” than will be used by the present IMR process. Much more weighting appears to have been given to the pre-existing EALR’s in the Supplemental program review, than will be afforded the new standards (which were designed to replace EALR’s) in the present IMR process for curricula selection. Could it be possible that the new standards are given less weight, because it will be more difficult to justify reform curricula alignment than it was with the pre-existing EALR’s? I’ll leave the answer to that question to you… the more informed than I.

--- Mike


Anonymous said...

ISD = Issaquah

these are minutes from the school board meeting last year 3/20/2007

Janet Molina: parents feel left out of the decision making process that was used for moving forward with a
recommendation of only one program for the elementary math adoption. Parents feel they have lost any
opportunity to view and give input on the program recommendation. Originally, the process included the possibility
of field testing 2 or more programs at the buildings. Because of the unusual circumstance of only one program
moving forward from the Elementary Math Adoption Committee the teacher work group recommended a different
type of intensive study process. Janet Barry, Lynn Brogan, Sara Niegowski, and Leslie Nielsen are meeting
tomorrow to discuss the communication plan.
Lynn Brogan, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Services explained that field tests are normally
used when comparing and contrasting competing programs where both are acceptable candidates and where
“hands-on” use of each program would help narrow down the possibilities. We did field test for middle school math
because we had two high quality programs. We did not field test for high school math. Lynn also shared updated
information on the District website that outlined many items including the Math Adoption Committee’s charter. The
charter lists the committee’s make-up, goals, and purpose. The website information also includes our neighboring
districts’ test scores and math curriculum choices used by the committee.
Secondary math teachers reviewed finalists programs for alignment with middle school and high school programs
and the level of mathematics and presented their findings to the elementary math committee. Their rating of the
finalist programs gave Everyday Math a 99% for meeting standards-based elements and preparing students for
middle school and high school math.
Lynn also reminded DAT that materials are the “tools” used by highly trained and experienced teachers as we have
here in Issaquah. The most important aspect of students’ learning math is the teacher. The professional
development our teachers get for using these tools is a very important element in the adoption process. The
professional development and on-going training are another part of the adoption committee’s work.
The website update also includes links to Mathematically Sane and Where’s the Math for anyone interested in
additional information.
PTSA and parent representatives that have received community emails regarding the math adoption will forward
those comments to Janet Barry. Leigh Stokes asked that any updates to the adoption information include:
• The adoption committee’s rational for moving forward only Everyday Math and why the district has chosen not
to field test.
• What things parents can do to become involved in the updated process?
• Why we are not moving forward with Investigations – the program used in Mercer Island?
• Why the programs mentioned by Where’s the Math did not score well enough to move forward?
• Why we are going through the adoption process when the standards might change?
• How the implementation will be different?
• What professional development, both front-end and on-going will be implemented for staff?
• How we will empower building leaders for enforcement of any chosen program.

Anonymous said...

This is the memo you are referencing I believe

July 27, 2007

TO: Steve Rasmussen
FROM: Lynn Brogan
RE: Washington State Mathematics Standards Review and Recommendations and impact on Issaquah
DATE: July 27, 2007
OSPI, The State Board of Education and the Professional Educator Standards Board presented a Joint Math Action Plan for Math Excellence by 2011 to the legislature last spring. Those recommendations were included in legislation and the first products are now rolling out.
OSPI just released The K-12 Computational Fluency Supplemental program review. [http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/Mathematics/pubdocs/K-12MathematicsComputationFluencyReportFinal.pdf]
The review matched the finding of our adoption committees: these stand-alone programs do not produce strong results. Only five of the reviewed programs (3 at elementary, 2 at middle and 0 at high school) received an average rating of 50%. Several of the supplemental programs that buildings, ISF or PTSA have purchased were included in the review. These data will help us inform the fidelity of implementation discussions we will have as an educational learning community.
Also released recently is the K-12 Mathematics Diagnostic-Intervention Program Review Report. [http://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/Mathematics/pubdocs/K-12MathematicsInterventionFullRpt.doc]
Another component of the action plan is the review of the math standards and Grade Level Expectations. http://www.sbe.wa.gov/documents/StrategicTeachingDraftReportJuly12.pdf
An independent reviewer was hired to rate Washington State standards against
• California standards
• Massachusetts standards
• Indiana standards
• Singapore curriculum
• Finland standards
• National Council of Mathematics (NCTM) Curriculum Focal Points
• National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) test specifications
• The American Diploma Project
• Washington State Transition Standards.
The reviewers rated the Washington State Standards in the following areas.
• Content: Does Washington include the same mathematical
• content as other, well-respected standards documents?
• Rigor: Is the content present at the same grade levels? Are students expected to apply that content in demanding ways?
• Specificity: Are the GLEs written with the same amount of detail as other documents?
• Clarity: Is it easy to understand what the GLEs mean?
• Depth: Are important math topics fully developed?
• Grade-to-grade coherence: Do topics develop logically and sequentially over grade levels?
• Measurability: Can the GLEs be assessed?
• Accessibility: Are Washington’s standards easy to use for as many people as possible?
• Balance: Is it clear that mathematical content and algorithms, conceptual understanding, and mathematical processes are present in Washington’s standards?
The reviewers put forward seven recommendations based on their analysis.
1. Set higher expectations for Washington’s students by
fortifying content and increasing rigor.
2. Prioritize topics to identify those that should be taught for
extended periods at each grade level.
3. Place more emphasis on mathematical content and standard
4. Write Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) that
clarify grade-level priorities and reflect both the conceptual
and procedural sides of mathematics.
5. Increase the clarity, specificity, and measurability of the
Grade Level Expectations (GLEs).
6. Create a standards document that is easily used by most
7. Include a mathematician, a curriculum specialist, and an
effective teacher on the Office of Superintendent of Public
Instruction’s (OSPI) Standards Revision Team.
I attended one of the focus group gatherings on the recommendations on July 24. Recommendations 7, 3 and 4 generated the most discussion. It was confirmed for the audience that these were the same recommendations that generated discussion around the state. The issues in recommendation 7 are focused on the “agendas” that team members might bring and the definition of “mathematician.” The definition of “standard algorithm” was the contentious point in recommendations 3 and 4.
However, there is substantial agreement that a common body of work that needs to be done has been identified.
I expect that you want to understand the potential impact that the revision of the GLE and ultimately the WASL might have on Issaquah’s instructional
materials choices in mathematics, particularly the most recent elementary instructional materials choice.
Issaquah has used standards-based mathematics instructional materials since 2000. In our adoption work, our teachers have carefully considered local, state, national and international assessment data, national standards, the college readiness needs as well as best practice research. The basic core of our work model matches the framework used by the independent reviewers. As part of the elementary review process the Singapore curriculum was reviewed by our teachers. We also looked a California, Indiana and Massachusetts standards. We know that California has determined that the Everyday math materials are 100% aligned with their standards in the first stage of a three-part review. In both Indiana and Massachusetts, Everyday Math and the standards are highly aligned. In Massachusetts, approximately 60% of the elementary schools use Everyday Math. The teachers on our work group used the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points to develop The Issaquah Computational Fluency Expectations launched in August, 2006.
The conclusion of the independent reviewers was that “Washington is moving in the right direction.” I know that I can say the same thing about Issaquah. Our K-12 teachers have been very careful and thoughtful about the instructional materials they have recommended for our students. They continue to improve their instruction and assessment practices so that our students continue to grow and improve.
I will continue to monitor the state level actions around mathematics. I expect to hear more news at the OSPI summer conference next week.

Anonymous said...

As posted earlier, California did not adopt the 5th grade Everyday Textbook, for the same reasons Texas did not. So this part of the memo is incorrect and has been quoted many times by everyday supporters.

Grades 4, 5, and 6 are considered deficient and according to reviewers must be supplemented.

My contention is don't supplement, adopt the best curriculum that is fully aligned. You will save money and time. Everyday is a joke.

Anonymous said...


This is the parent survey done by Issaquah and posted on Wikipedia.
(157 respondents) -

Most of the parents had children enrolled at Cougar Ridge and Discovery (69 parents) primarily second and third grade. Fifth grade had the fewest parents in attendance.

112 parents viewed the everyday materials on the website.

38 parents went to a parent information night on April 4.

The questions are misleading

How many parents value a math program that prepares students for college?
Not a surprise. Out of 157 parents, only 2 strongly disagree.

How many parents feel Everyday Math will prepare students for college?
79 strongly disagree
76 agree

How many parents feel a balance math program is important?

6 strongly disagree
150 strongly agree

The rest of the survey has parent comments...

sure looks like a fixed process, hardly exemplary.

dan dempsey said...

Write me for the Spreadsheet of the Green Lake School pilot of Everyday Math in the Seattle School District another fraudulent action.