Monday, November 24, 2008

About SPS Math ... a letter

Dear Directors and Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson,

I am teaching at Lummi Nations School a k-12 school that used Everyday Math until this year. I am teaching many high school students who only know how to multiply by the lattice method and do not know the standard algorithm for multiplication. Very few students can capably divide as the lattice method is useless for the long division algorithm.

The question now goes back to the EDM math adoption of May 30th 2007 on that evening the board was assured by CAO Santorno that arithmetic fluency would be happening, is it? Given that the SPS is now in its second year of fidelity of implementation to the EDM pacing plan ... I can assure you that the promises of arithmetic fluency are not being fulfilled.

The SPS has chosen to disregard the National Math Advisory Panel recommendations as well as the k-8 math standards. This SPS refusal to depart from the EDM pacing plan and CMP2 usage is harming many of our students substanitally for yet another year. Dispite a large increase in math instructional time in SPS classrooms in 2007-2008 the WASL results for EDM grades were quite disappointing from Spring 2007 to Spring 2008. This increase of time saw White 4th and 5th graders performing worse by comparison with state numbers from 2007 to 2008 and Hispanic 4th graders scored substantially worse.

Why has the school district refused to change direction? Is there some reason to wait until SY 2009-2010 to begin preparing students to do the mathematics needed to be successful on the Spring 2010 math WASL? Why not prepare our students mathematically to eventually be successful in real high school level math rather than wait until next year?


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.


Anonymous said...

I have ninth through twelth graders that can't add fractions -and this is the norm. They haven't been taught because it was not in the curriculum.

dan dempsey said...

If a student has a minimal knowledge of fractions, authentic algebra will not be happening.

The NMAP really drove this home.

Unfortunately "Club Ed" is not noticing and the same ineffective direction continues to be followed in many places.