Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Organizing a Math Curriculum ( or not)

I ran for Seattle School Board last year and did not make it through the primary. I wanted to have the Superintendent and the Board follow policies and state laws that were in place and would have in my view increased student academic achievement. This still has not happened nor does it appear likely to happen in the near future.

Here is a short email chain from Director Harium Martin-Morris's Blog.
Harium said...

On 11/4 you asked if there was any plan to change our K-8 text books. To my knowledge there is no plan to change the text we have just adopted a couple of years ago.

We are not ignoring the state math standards. The work we are doing in math for K-8 is against the state standards.

Policies D44.00 and D45.00 are 23 years old and part of the policies that we will be either updating or deleting during our policy work.

November 11, 2008 10:27 PM

dan dempsey said...

Thanks for the response on D44 & D45. The problem is more than just neglect of D44 & D45.

The problem is the disregard for organizing what students should be learning and the failure to provide effective focused interventions so the students learn the important material.

This is an enormous failing on the part of the Seattle Public Schools. The fact that the board and the Superintendent allow this to continue is absurd. This would be malpractice in any other venue.

The EDM pacing plan in fact does not actually encourage mastery of much arithmetic at any level. A comparison with the K-8 State Math standards and the EDM pacing plan followed by the SPS for k-5 and the CMP2 curriculum for 6,7,8 makes the enormous magnitude of the failure of current SPS Math leadership and their recommended practices very apparent.

This is absurd that the board is considering a high school math adoption for many students who have been failed by the SPS in k-8 math without any attention to fixing k-8 math.

I've got it. After a decade of disaster the SPS will just ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

NO reasonable PLAN is apparent.
The SPS has continually failed to apply the relevant data in any intelligent manner. In the words of Brita Butler-Wall: "We choose to follow our hired professionals." Now that the SPS math plan is out of alignment with the National Math Advisory Panel and the new State Math Standards ... the SPS continues to do nothing of substance.

Let us all wait for D44 & D45 to be revised or discarded. The neglect of these needed policies has played a large part in the current mess.

Public schooling in the SPS has become a sad situation when content is neglected and mastery of important content is viewed as unnecessary. This situation is rampant not only in math but in many other subject areas.

In social studies the emphasis on process over content often leaves students with so little content knowledge many students have next to nothing to process.

November 12, 2008 7:19 AM

Harium's blog can be found at
My posting was under Middle School Math.

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