Sunday, June 1, 2008

Clearly NO Math Content Knowledge wanted
on the Instructional Materials Review Criteria team

Just when I was dreaming that a real knowledge of teaching math and math content would be a prime requirement to select instructional materials to increase student learning of math in Washington, I awoke for my sleep to find Washington State Math reality unchanged.

Dear Ms Susan Wilson, 6-1-2008

The release of the documents, originally scheduled for July 18th moving to on or before June 30th is acceptable. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

It would be beneficial to me as both an SBE Math Advisory Panelist and observer of IMR processes to have a list of the math materials in use by each of the various school districts in the state. Could you please send me that listing (likely a spreadsheet) in whatever form as it is being currently referenced by OSPI? Via email file will be fine.

You wrote that:
In response to your interest about the 22 members of the “IMR criteria panel” and question of public notification about the April 25th meeting of this group, OSPI chose to involve input from individuals identified given their curriculum-level roles within school districts and their experience leading/participating in instructional materials reviews and/or mathematics adoptions processes. This group is working with OSPI to develop the review instrument and criteria, and are not the group that will participate in the review of materials.

In my opinion current OSPI IMR criteria production seems opaque and boarders on incompetence. Consider that after the SBE originally put out a request for Math Advisory Panelists and narrowed these applications down to 20, here is what resulted: a panel, which consisted of a broad spectrum of individuals most of whom had significant knowledge of math content and applications. It included math teachers, representatives from industry (a mechanical engineer, a Fred Hutch PhD. researcher, a retired Software engineer etc). This panel was to give advice to the consultant Strategic Teaching, which had significant experience in the reviewing of Math related standards. All the processes were conducted or overseen by Ms. Edie Harding and appeared as very open and transparent to me.

Subsequent to the April 25th meeting, the review instrument and criteria were shared with the State Board of Education (SBE) Math Panel members, from which the input provided was considered as representative of that from public citizens.

The panel was secretly selected without any public notification. It was done by OSPI appointment. The first meeting took place with no public notification and no observers. The draft #1 document was not publicly available for viewing and the comments provided by SBE MAP are considered as representative of input from the citizens of the state.

I was totally unaware that the citizens of this state had chosen me as their input person for them in this process and that they had no concerns about viewing draft#1. (of course they had no concerns they did not know of draft#1 existence or of the IMR criteria panel’s existence it was a secret).

If this is really the belief of those at OSPI into what constitutes an open and transparent process, I advise that the temporary help added to deal with my FOIA request be added permanently as the Public will need to submit at lot of FOIA requests to attain any degree of knowledge or transparence about many OSPI activities.

The IMR Advisory has met one more time to review the input from the SBE Math Panel and to finalize their recommendations on the review instrument/criteria. This meeting occurred on May 21st. OSPI will be sending the second draft of the review instrument/criteria to Edie Harding in the SBE to be shared with the SBE Math Panel members for final input prior to the IMR for K-8 core mathematic materials which is scheduled in June 2008.

From what you write above am I to assume that the input process is over? And that since to finalize their recommendations on the review instrument/criteria is now completed, no further input would be appreciated? Or is it wanted?

I continue to contend that both OSPI and SBE are not able to fulfill the intent of the legislature as expressed in HB 1906 and SB 6534. The likely result may be that children and the citizens are seriously underserved and additional laws and statutes are likely to be violated in this rush to continue with a largely unchanged failing k-12 Math system of OSPI’s creation.

I maintain that the IMR criteria team should be composed of many experts in math content and that the facilitator of such a team should also be a content expert. Currently it appears that the team consists of administrators that have been involved with selecting the math materials that have proved to be very deficient. It includes no math teachers, and no high power mathematics users from industry. Math content knowledge was clearly not a requirement to be on this team.

At this time I have received a .pdf file of IMR criteria draft #2, I’ve requested a word .doc from Porsche Everson as a .pdf file is very difficult to edit and to make any additions is extremely cumbersome. ( If input is wanted it helps to have a form that facilitates giving input rather than impedes it.)

Can you please provide me with a justification legal or otherwise for your belief that: which the input provided was considered as representative of that from public citizens.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.


Anonymous said...

Math Trainer Criteria - DRAFT

-- an aside - during my quick 1/2 decade in high tech, I was in a lot of meetings where someone would be modelling a process on a whiteboard, and it was VERY common for a presenter to be modelling 1 piece of a process, then draw an arrow into a cloud, then draw 1 or more arrows out of the cloud to some other more detailed process(es).

This morning, I realized that in my hundreds and hundreds of hours of math teacher training in the last 1/2 decade, I've spent most of that training time inside the process cloud, with NO real detailed entrance or exit points.

Trainers take vague fuzzy ideas about differentiated instruction, creating community, group work most or all of the time, hetergenous grouping ... and we jump into the cloud

and THE RESEARCH SHOWS that we the teachers and the kids and the admins and the community will will


exit the cloud with kids with ...

ha ha ha ha


-- end of my aside

Math Trainer Criteria

Do The Math Trainers Have OVER 3 years teaching where:

- they have 5 classes a day,
- AND they have over 20 kids per class
- AND they have over 125 kids,
- AND the classes change at the semester,
- AND at MOST 2 classes of kids in the top 10% academically,
- AND at least 2 classes with the bottom 25% academically,
- AND those bottom classes have at least 5 kids who are constantly off task, interupting / unprepared / not working

AND has that trainer taken those kids in the bottom 25% classes and brought those kids to above the ... median of ...

any REAL metric?

Pardon me while I return to my cloud.

Anonymous said...

Math Trainer Criteria - DRAFT 2

- AND taught in schools with >25% Title 1,
- AND taught in public schools which were NOT any kind of choice / magnet things

dan dempsey said...

Hey when OSPI answers my FOIA,

Perhaps we can answer all these questions over several beers.

I am thinking of taking the advice of a friend who suggested a digital camera with a macro lens.

Hum 15 cents per page is $150.00 per thousand and we could be talking about a thousand documents easy with every application and scoring rubric on top of the rest of what I asked for.

laboring through that with my copier scanner or with a digital camera. Think of the digital slide show possibilities.

Hey perhaps you should suggest your thoughts for a new rubric in case OSPI wants to do this again....

or maybe my request for injunctive relief in Thurston County Superior Court will be granted and perhaps we will go through all this again.