Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exporting Nonsense for profit -- by Niki Hayes
Lummi Text Choices .. your thoughts?

I sent this message the other day, but I realized today I had overlooked a prime reason to take the "successful American K-12 education model" overseas: It's not just about arrogance (although that plays into it). It's about MONEY! Think of the professional development, curricular materials, and increased stature for academia folks that can be developed by marketing America's education programs to new customers! One can't help but wonder about the amount of damage that will be done by this move into the rest of the world. (Israel learned this the hard way after adopting the American reform ideas in the late 1970s and dropping precipitously in international math scores over the next 20 years. It was around 2000 that Israel began adopting Singapore Math to try to get their students back on track in math.) The burden of our not having accurate oversight of our education system is now being passed around to others. Well, at least we'll all be equitable in our plight.

November Conference in Turkey to Provide Middle East Educators with Broader Definition of Achievement and Accountability

Schools can be key players in forming a better and more peaceful world for future generations by introducing teaching and learning strategies that allow students to grow personally and academically. An upcoming ASCD Middle East International Conference, "Valuing the Whole Child: Embracing a Global Vision," will connect educators from the region with leading education researchers and school improvement consultants to explore practices and programs that ensure all students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. The conference will be held Nov. 8 to 9, in Istanbul, Turkey.
Excerpts: Attendees will learn how to assess the professional development efforts in their schools and discover which learning models and practices build instructional capacity that leads to results-based school improvement.
Conference sessions will address the holistic, as well as academic, needs of every learner. Sessions will also focus on ASCD's major professional development programs: Differentiated Instruction, Understanding by Design, and What Works in Schools.

Dan's Thoughts.....

Our American education system has become incredibly inefficient during the last 30 years. The dollars pumped in could be used more efficiently.

We've heard all kinds of excuses as to why the academic results are less than expected. It is the demise of the traditional family. It is the rise of gangsta rap, & MTv. It is the drug culture. It is the glorification of slacker culture. etc. etc.

We rarely hear about defective curriculum and pointless professional development.
China at the secondary level has a longer school day and a full month longer school year, meanwhile many US schools have half days for teacher training. Consider the reduction in instructional time in US schools compared with 30 years ago.

This year, I am teaching at Lummi Nation School we just received a large grant from the Bureau of Indian Education. The stipulation was that we needed to use one of the two math programs that had statistical evidence that they actually work for Native Americans. Both programs use direct instruction. Lummi chose Saxon k-6.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

I chose to use Mind Research Institute's Algebra Readiness program at the high school level. This is an Intervention that is carefully crafted to teach all the math from grade two to grade seven that has been neglected in programs like Everyday Math, TERC/Investigations, and
Connected Math Project. Students who transfer in from High Schools using Core-Plus, or Interactive Math Program seem to have very weak arithmetic skills.

At Lummi our school has used Everyday and TERC for a decade.

For Algebra we will be using a traditional algebra: Foerster Algebra (2006)

I am looking for a good Geometry Book that in not particularly reading intensive.
UCSMP Geometry given their other books I've used would seem to be reading intensive.
I am looking for Example based instruction where possible.

For our post Geometry Algebra Class or traditional Advanced Algebra, I am looking at texts used in Math 99 at local community colleges.

Comments and Suggestions Welcome.


Anonymous said...

Serra's Discovering Geometry is better written than most traditional textbooks.

Anonymous said...

Look at College Prep Mathematics. WASL scores from Bellingham, Issaquah, Coupeville, and LaConner are amazing. All 4 districts have been using CPM. While most schools WASL scores have stayed flat, the scores from these districts are outstanding. Why is this? I would have to believe that the use of CPM has something to do with these amazing scores and improvement. People need to learn to put two and two together. This does not seem like rocket science to me.

Anonymous said...


When is the lawsuit you filed going to be heard and decided?


Anonymous said...

This is what I heard and I don't know for sure:

1. La Conner only uses CPM to teach algebra in 9th grade?

2. CPM in Bellingham is news to me. Which schools? They have a new curriculum director.

3. Issaquah did an adoption, but it wasn't CPM.

4. If Coupeville adopted CPM that's great news.

With College Prep Math (CPM) its easier to organize students and you are teaching the same cognitive model used in Singapore. The model is based on a null zero or sometimes called the cup and tile model.

Traditional textbooks, like Saxon use a structural approach which is based on the teacher modeling algebraic problem solving. The textbooks choose the problems and the teacher shows students how to solve the problems. The difficulty is that some kids can't build the correct model - explicit instruction v. implicit instruction.

I still hold that Singapore is a better curriculum, because it is k through 12 and standards are built into the curriculum. CPM is grades 6 - 10 only.