Friday, May 30, 2008

Great Video Series from 4-24-2008

This is a wonderful primer on the Current USA Math situation.
These are videos from April 24, 2008.

1. Business Speakers

Dr. Craig R. Barrett ,Chairman Intel Corporation
Alfred R. Berkeley III (Moderator) Chairman, Pipeline Trading Systems, LLC
Joe Turnage Senior VP, Constellation Generation Group

2. Why U.S. students are falling behind

Dr. William H. Schmidt of Michigan State University

3. It's a New World Out There

Dr. R. James Milgram, Professor of Math at Stanford University

4. Math Education in Maryland

Dr. W. Stephen Wilson, Professor of Math at Johns Hopkins

5. Questions and Answers

Drs. Schmidt, Milgram and Wilson take questions from the attendees

I received the following from a You Tube viewer... Factor this comment in with the above:
In 6th grade I had Connected Math, and it was horrible. I am now in high school, going into honors geometry. I would never be here if my mom hadn't bought those Singapore Math books.

The following Parent Video is incredibly clear.... Unfortunately this lady in not a Superintendent nor was she on the Seattle School Board on May 30, 2007.

Watch this amazingly clear 5-minute video of a Parent.. CLICK HERE

Then think about Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson's Strategic Plan that has Everyday Math as its cornerstone on which Seattle will build Connected Math.... with that k-8 the district will then attempt to teach High School Math.
Good Luck with that plan.... Bill Schmidt would find the Everyday Math adoption as morally reprehensible... so why doesn't the School Board?... and why is the Superintendent basing a five year plan on one of the most pathetic math curricula available?

In Seattle Singapore Math was a tiny add on supplement and even that went largely unused. Singapore Math remains largely neglected by the SPS. Although Singapore Math was mentioned in the Superintendent's recent Strategic Plan. It continues to appear that Singapore is a minor Tambourine player in the background for Major Super Star Everyday Math...... at least until further notice.

Seattle is still without a plan for fixing Connected Math at grades 6,7,& 8.


Anonymous said...


I enjoyed the videos. One professor discussed time on task which I believe is an important topic for math education. Madeline Hunter is rolling over in her grave as she watches the erosion of the time we spend on mathematics. If I want to get better at mathematics I need to spend more quality time practicing mathematics.


dan dempsey said...


Quality practice time. You must be confused that only works for athletic skills, car racers, musicians, and any one of 10,000 other examples...

What makes you think this quality practice time will work for math..... You mean a decade of inquiry and exploration is not doing the job..... I am shocked when did you figure this out?..

Any Chance you could fly this idea by the real math decision-makers in this state.

How about that parent on the video... and "which of the math professionals are you going to contact to produce your predetermined outcome??"

The Math Ed folks or the Mathematics professors and Engineering profs???

We already have TB's answer for that one.

Anonymous said...

Always interesting. My intent on the time on task issue is to try to keep the focus of these blog comments on mathematics. Some bloggers seem to have other agendas besides mathematics education or lack thereof.


Anonymous said...

Low academic programs, especially math, affect the culture of school more than most of us care to admit (eg. tracking).

While this might not be of interest to everyone, I sincerely hope it interests at least sociologists. Finally, teachers wear there profession on their sleeve. They tend to take criticism personally. I'm considered a pretty cold fish by my colleagues, but I've trained with some of the best teachers in the US (doesn't say much does it). I know BS when I hear it and that pretty much goes with everything.

Honestly, I am very supportive, but I don't put up with the usual garbage you hear in faculty lounges. I'm a lightning rod and that can be very intimidating for some non-believers - you have to be willing to fight for what you believe is right. Most of this integrated bunch is getting pretty close to retirement - I do sense a growing frustration or resentment in the movement.

There is very little research for instance about Saxon other than which schools use it and then test scores (which are always good). Saxon remains pretty much the same textbook that my sister used back in the 70's.

I think there are much more important questions that remain for instance why Saxon works for some schools, but not for others. Textbook approaches do matter and it affects how we do instruction in the classroom.