Saturday, May 10, 2008

Late posting of 5-07 SPS testimony

Good Evening, I am Dan Dempsey. 5-07-2008

In the Seattle textbook adoption process we heard: Research Shows! Research Shows!

It would be far more truthful if the claim was the publisher believes. Yes, each publisher believes you should buy their textbooks.

The National Math Panel report entitled “Foundations for Success” tells us that 16,000 research studies are flawed and tell us nothing. There are no best practices in math. – That’s right the National Math Panel advocates for real research to find the best practices. – So for now remember there are no best practices in Math.

It is time for Seattle to STOP depending on the State for textbook guidance.

Last time around, the State’s most aligned materials widened the achievement gap and elevated remediation rates. It might be wise to have an alternative plan rather than waiting for the state.

Recently OSPI had the first meeting of the Instructional Materials Review Panel. This one day meeting had no observers because there was no public notification of the data or location of this meeting. There was not even a disclosure of who is on this panel.

This panel produced a draft document that looks unlikely to recommend better math materials.

I was expecting to see the National math Panel recommendations and the New Washington State Math Standards used to guide the selection of Math materials and yes those two documents are present. Unfortunately four or five other documents are there as well. These include the NCTM standards as well as other NCTM documents but not the 2006 NCTM Focal Points. The state has the materials needed to select more defective math materials by basing decisions on the same poor materials used to guide the old disastrous decisions.

Yes, the NCTM Math Standards without the Focal Points. Hey perhaps Everyday Math will line up with that. Unfortunately alignment does not produce academic improvement as OSPI has repeatedly demonstrated.

The Seattle Public Schools need to start making math curricular decisions based on relevant data and common sense. Please stop accepting OSPI’s nonsense and blind unquestioning acceptance of UW “says”.

It is way past time for positive results.

Textbooks need to be based on examples. Example based instruction allows:

1… Children to teach themselves when they are absent.

2… Allows parents to assist their children.

3… Allows Math content deficient teachers to actually learn the math material.

If OSPI recommends something other than example-based textbooks just say NO!!

The Math Disaster can end BUT do not count on OSPI to end it.


Anonymous said...

The school board in our district directed the curriculum committee to discuss again whether Core-plus is a good choice for the high school math adoption. I have to thank Dan and others who posted such strong arguments against Core-plus. The opinions and facts presented on this blog are certainly helping to inform good decision making. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!! For your district and especially I'm glad for the students and teachers.

Anonymous said...

As I have had first hand experience with some pea-brained administrators, there are schools that make teachers work with both hands tied behind their back.

They like to give low evaluations to teachers so they keep them under their thumb, don't work for these fools. If they are asking for constructivist lesson plans, watch out.

These chaps have their own agenda and that is protect thyself, and you are the mark. Its a math witchhunt, so start fighting back. Why waste 20-30 years working for a principal who misuses their power anyway. If you want to be a part of a system that disables society, be my guest.

If you're working tethered to a calculator display for the entire day teaching Core Plus and no one ever remarks that your work looks exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, then those clowns have you right where they want you.

File a complaint with the union, write to your representatives - my own chapter has no leadership - those teachers seem to think its okay because they don't have to use a math textbook written by idiots and the kids that don't get it, eventually go away. The school looks like an college prep campus - mighty white of them.

Their science program is FUBAR too. The High School uses Globe-Fearon and their own material to teach science. They didn't know I was talking about.

None of them ever bothered to see what was inside the alternative school - it was crap. Broken furniture and overhead projectors left over from when I was in school. Tagging and food everywhere (they had to use the classrooms as the cafeteria. Some days the heating didn't work. You want to see poverty in the US (kids without shoes) then you should have seen this pig sty (alternative ed.)

We had ICP gang bangers and pregnant Hispanics in the same s... classroom. I spoke to a rep on the WASC walkthrough and he agreed, but said it wasn't his job.

Don't let these fishy philosophers think they can run school like a prison. All three of these knucklehead administrators are looking for jobs elsewhere. Best of luck to the district that gets them. Better yet, they'll go work for OSPI...

Anonymous said...

SPS is definitely a target for city takeover. It is for all intensive purposes there already.

Providing schools with textbooks that don't teach children has been and will continue being the reformist's weapon against the US.

Tough choices for Tough times funded primarily by Gates and Broad and signed by a bipartisan collection of politicians, businesspeople, and urban superintendents (Chicago, NY, Philadelphia, Detroit, LA, Portland), calls for measures that include:

(a) replacing public schools with “contract schools”, which are in fact charter schools;

(b) eliminating all the powers of local school boards. Their role would be limited signing the authorizing agreements with the “contract schools;

(c) eliminating teacher pensions and slashing health benefits; this was one of the revelations in Chicago involving Stuart Levine, Mayor Daley (City control of CPS), Ed Smith (Ill. Superdelegate), Chris Kelly, and Antoin Rezko and the Medicare Advantage Programs (Humana purchase of combenefits).

Engler does not have it completely right when he says it is a democrat problem - I believe its bipartisan - greed is not limited by party affiliation.

(d) forcing all 10th graders to take a high school exit examination based on an arbitrary set of skills that is set at some legislated cutoff, effectively terminating the education of all those who fail.

This group of high brow conspirators will succeed in throwing millions of students out into the streets as soon as they turn 17.

Their reforms taken together, will effectively cripple public control of education. They will weaken the power of teacher unions, and facilitate more attacks on education.

Would you be willing to leave education policy in the hands of a network of entrepreneurial think tanks, corporate entrepreneurs, and armies of lobbyists whose top priority has been to profit from the education market while cutting back on public funding for schools and students?

The measures outlined in TCTT mean privatization of education. Is that the will of the people or the manipulation fo an extremist political group?

The outcome can only be the termination of the right to an equal education, 14th Amendment.

Corporate oligarchs want the US, the first country that guaranteed public education, to be the first country to end it.

Send them to Iraq, let them fight Al Queda, its been how many years since we've had peace? I've lost track. It takes an a-hole to know one.

Anonymous said...

Proper perspective -

Green Dot Schools is a school contractor in LAUSD. They sued the district who contracted them for more space (space the district needed for its own students)

The 600 student race riot at Locke High School in Watts this year was under Green Dot Management this school year, yet who takes responsibility (the school district).

This is how your tax dollars get spent haphazardly by matching grant funding. Its a dangerous game when you are strapped for cash and school districts that engage in this kind of foolhardiness without understanding the nature of the grants or their benefactors are walking into a mine field that encompasses fraud and theft and not just to mention the ethics violations.

NCLB removed what little oversight there was, leaving schools and districts exposed to all sorts of predatory interests.

Things will have to get far worse, before you will see it get better.