Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Math in Lebanon, Oregon

Here is an article from the Oregonian by a reporter that follows math closely.


The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory, a Portland-based research and training agency, helped train more than 60 Lebanon teachers in the new math approach.

It is based largely on a teacher training technique called Cognitively Guided Instruction, or CGI, developed by education researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Among the core ideas, according to CGI co-developer Thomas Carpenter:

Young children know more about math than most adults think they do. Ask kids to talk a lot about their mathematical reasoning and then add to what they already know. In Lebanon, teachers strive not to say "That was the wrong answer." They lean toward, "Can you tell me about your thinking?"

Anyone know much about the Math Content of the Oregon tests referred to below:

Lebanon schools shine in math...
Percent of students who met state math benchmarks in 2008:

• Grade 3: 77
• Grade 5: 86
• Grade 8: 82

Similar schools*:
• Grade 3: 77
• Grade 5: 78
• Grade 8: 66

State average:
• Grade 3: 77
• Grade 5: 77
• Grade 8: 69

* Schools similar to Lebanon, where about half the students qualify for federally subsidized meals based on low family income.

-- Source: Analysis by The Oregonian of Oregon Department of Education figures


Anonymous said...

This is more propaganda from the "Center for Data Driven Reform" (Robert Slavin). for more info you can sign up for a workshop this spring. Think of the Success for All Foundation (same animal).

Spring K–12 Leadership Institute
Increasing Student Achievement: Using Data to Lead Change
April 17–18, 2009
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA

Its useful to parse out the verbage to understand the rhetoric these twirps are using to glue together their half-baked ideas.

Lebanon teachers do not claim to have developed the new teaching methods.

The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory in Portland helped train over 60 Lebanon teachers. NREL is a research and training agency.

However, NREL is based on Cognitively Guided Instruction developed by education researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Lebanon School District researched the data and trained its teachers.

Lebanon teachers do not check worksheets and mark incorrect answers with a red pen. Incorrect answers generate a question from the teacher, "Can you tell me about your thinking?"

This new approach is in line with recent national reports on how to improve math in the United States.

National Math Panel
President George Bush appointed the National Math Panel to find research on what works in teaching math to children.

The panel learned that the problem isn’t really high school teachers.

Children come into high school without understanding basic concepts like fractions, percentages and decimals.

The changes in math need to begin in the early elementary years.

The Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University reports that it is not all about finding the right textbook or computerized math program.


Data shows that elementary teachers need to change teaching practices.


Math toolboxes (Core Plus) need to replace math books and workbooks. Teachers guide children through concepts using manipulatives instead of paper and pencils.

This practice has allowed the students in primary classrooms in Lebanon to work with negative numbers, work problems in their heads, solve algebraic equations and easily use number lines.

From Wikipedia ...

In the fascist view, a perspective is a community enforced by power, authority, military might, privilege, etc.

So, a proposition is true if it "makes us powerful" or is "produced by power", thus the slogan "truth is power".

This view of truth as a political stake may be loosely associated with Heidegger or with Michel Foucault's specific analysis of historical and political discourse, as well as with some social constructivists.

However, the Nazi mysticism of a communitarian "Blood community" conception radically differs from Heidegger or Foucault's criticism of the notion of the individual or collective subject.

Anonymous said...

Blood and Soil, Foucault, and Heidigger are one and the same. They lead to the same conclusion.

A social constructivist, not the same thing as a constructivist, is a social parasite who believes all dogs are poodles. In the tree of philosophy they would compare to worms. If they were biologists, they would think change is Lamarkian. Which gets us back to Lebanon, OR. It rings a bell from a few years back.


Backlash Builds Against Small Schools
A backlash builds against the movement to break up big schools; Bill Gates pulls some support

LEBANON, Ore., Aug. 30, 2006
By JULIA SILVERMAN Associated Press Writer

(AP) Hopes were high in this blue-collar town when Lebanon High was broken up into four smaller schools-within-a-school to try to reduce the dropout rate.

At the time, in 2004, the small-schools movement was growing across the country, and it had a powerful backer in Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

But just two years later, complaints from parents and educators have put the future of small schools in jeopardy in Lebanon and across the country.

"We made a mistake trying to push autonomy really hard, and the community blew back at us," said Mark Whitson, a journalism teacher at Lebanon High School. "Parents want us to slow our pace of change until they know what we are doing."

The small-schools concept calls for dividing large high schools into groups of about 300 students with similar academic interests. (Lebanon was divided into "academies" devoted to communications; farming, natural resources and health; arts, business, community and family affairs; and engineering and other technical fields.)

The groups then take classes together for four years, with the same teachers. Proponents say students learn more because they and their teachers get to know each other better.

In Lebanon, though, scheduling problems abounded and test scores did not budge. Many feared the student body was becoming too fragmented, a particularly touchy subject in a town where community is forged on the football field and at graduation ceremonies.

Some students were upset at being separated from friends who had been assigned to other "learning academies." Others complained that their choice of courses had been narrowed.

"It really ticked me off," said Dallas Oeder, 16. "I couldn't take all the classes I wanted to."

Parents also fretted that their children were being asked to make decisions about their career paths at the tender age of 14. And in a lumber-mill town, there was outrage that the new system was focused more on college-prep classes than on vocational education.

The complaints were so strong that a Gates-backed nonprofit group withdrew a grant worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, citing the lack of community support.


It comes down to this รข€” did officials at the U.S. Department of Education work to steer federal dollars earmarked to help kids read to companies they preferred? An explosive report, which the education department again tried to bury with a Friday afternoon release, says yes they did.

Sam Dillon of the New York Times has the stunning details here.

This has been a simmering controversy for months. Back in June I met Bob Slavin of Johns Hopkins University, inventor of the respected Success For All reading program and one of the first critics to come out and accuse the education department of not playing fair. Slavin said kids who might benefit from a program like Success For All were being denied so the department’s friends could make a few bucks.

Slavin is a huge big shot in the reading curriculum world but some thought took a big risk by speaking out. He must feel pretty vindicated today. The report includes E-mails within the department in which officials pretty openly discuss their efforts to craft the program selection committees to be friendly to certain companies.

How did Slavin know that DOE officials were making deals with publishers in the first place?

This whole system needs to be thrown out for good. It is too good to be true. A bunch of pathological liars.

Anonymous said...

Change will not come about with institutional reform. Its the textbooks that have to be changed. Adopt "one" national curriculum with "one" textbook and you will have solved this nation's ills.

We don't need people like Bruce Chapman and Jon Buell running the Republican Party or our country's institutions. That's why SPS is such a hot spot in the Math War.

Anonymous said...

Ten years of corruption and no action taken against these people speaks for itself.