Friday, January 9, 2009

Kentucky Math Legislation is moving forward

SJR 19 (BR 804) - D. Kelly, K. Winters, J. Westwood

Direct the Kentucky Department of Education to use the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics report recommendations to revise mathematics core content standards and materials in grades prekindergarten through grade 12 by August 2009, and revise math assessments accordingly by the 2009-2010 school year.


SCS - Retain original provisions except direct the Kentucky Department of Education to consider rather than incorporate the 2008 findings of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel in its revision of core content standards.

Jan 7-introduced in Senate; to Education (S)
Jan 8-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with Committee Substitute
Jan 9-2nd reading, to Rules

The links:

Math Resolution hits the Kentucky Senate:



Anonymous said...

How about Holt for the Washington State Mathematics curriclum?

Anonymous said...

Which Holt? I presume you mean Holt algebra? Then which grade level? How about ninth grade? Your question should be will middle school students raised on Everyday and Connected Math be prepared to take on something as challenging as Holt algebra and the answer is no.

Consider the fact that EDM teaches three multiplication algorithms in the third grade. One is trivial so I'll ignore it. The first algorithm is partial products. The number of products that get summed is the product of the digits.

The Ann Arbor no-nothing consensus is that kids will make fewer errors when they multiply using partial products. I think this view is a bit short-sighted.

Yes, partial products can be used to multiply decimal numbers but this is not in the curriculum.

The fast method (long multiplication?) is not taught until the fifth grade. However, the majority of students are not taught the traditional algorithm. You'll have to trust me on that. The partial products method is a bit scary for high school teachers and parents to watch because it looks like a really weird method of multiplying the 'other' way.

Anonymous said...

I am referencing the Holt which was given high marks by the group studying various math curriculums.
The group did the study for the State of Washington.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking for this study (Plattner/Strategic Teaching) and I found this link going back to Oct 28 that referenced a late submission regarding Bridges. No reference to Holt.

I had trouble downloading the report off OSPI and my copy is on another computer.

You might take a look at this link from the University of Oregon. The evidence (Brent and DiObilda, 1993) looks dated and was negative for Holt. But already I'm suspicious.

My searching led me to this resource which I will have to look over more thoroughly.


Though Camden, NJ was not part of the original Follow Through study, it began implementing DI in at least one school in 1978, and received a Follow Through grant in 1988 to implement DI in one elementary school. Several published studies of DI in Camden5 yielded mixed results regarding the impact of 1 or 2 years of DI on reading achievement for second graders. A 1-year experimental study of DI in two second-grade classrooms (with randomly selected children and teachers) yielded a significant positive effect of DI on CTBS reading vocabulary scores (DiObilda & Brent, 1985-86). A small sample size (n=47 in each group) may have prevented the positive effect of DI on comprehension scores from reaching statistical significance. Brent, DiObilda, and Gavin (1986) also reported a positive effect of 2 years of DI instruction by experienced teachers on second grade reading scores, while students with an inexperienced DI teacher performed no better than control students. In a larger study of Camden second graders who had experienced 2 years of DI, Brent and DiObilda (1993) found no effects of DI on CTBS reading scores, concluding the program was "as effective as traditional programs that are aligned with a specific standardized test" (p. 337).

I have run into similiar studies in the Northwest where reading evaluators were evaluating elementary math programs. The low sample sizes make these studies very dubious. I would rule inconclusive.

An opinion - Holt is a program that uses a structural approach and teaches traditional math topics. It is a fair program for students with average reading skills.

As the textbooks progress the reading difficulty level increases and this accounts for the drop in test scores. Teachers tend to over-drill (students will make mistakes rushing to finish work that is supposed to get progressively harder).

Consequently students who are prone to mistakes will not always be corrected in a timely manner. Hispanics are prone to making reversals because their grammatical rules are different.
Often it just takes an immediate correction to show where they are making their mistake which is huge and easy to spot.

If your district has good reading scores then Holt would be a good recommendation.

There are two drawbacks - if your district has schools with large numbers of low English readers, then Holt will need to be supplemented starting at least by the seventh grade. You should also have a strong reading program.

I would not recommend programmed 'basic' instruction for remediation. Most programs cannot interpret the gross errors that english language learners will make.

Intervention curriculum should be self-checking and preferably focused on oral communication so students have opportunities to think out loud in their language -a good example are the Marcy Cook materials. Also, they can learn at a much faster pace. Its ridiculous to have kids write out their thinking, when its far easier to say it and everyone can hear anyway.

Math with Pizzazz gets used alot but it can be very difficult for students to understand. My 3 good readers were bored by my extra effort to teach the low readers. These potential trouble makers were on behavior contracts. One complained about the loud talking in the classroom and wanted to sit down in the nurse's office.

I spent five days doing 3 worksheets (correctly) and only collected one for grading. We were simplifying the product of two fractions before multiplying them together. Students needed to use scratch paper (another problem with handouts - not enough room to work out problems).
The problems in math classrooms are practical ones, but not insurmountable.

My long-term goal was getting students to bring back work they had done in class and then taken home overnight. Making good students takes time.

BlArthurHu said...

Does that mean NCTM "we goofed and all those standards based textbooks with no standard methods were a huge mistake" or NCTM "keep buying more TERC and CMP"??

Anonymous said...

Kentucky isn't likely to change. Beshear will veto any legislation that attempts to overturn education reform efforts. Their predicament is similiar to Washington's.

From Jan 10...

Senate Republicans want to replace the CATS with a national test, which Williams said could save money on the front end in testing costs and more instructional time, and on the back end by reducing the need for remedial classes for college freshmen. That’s something previously proposed in the Senate but opposed by the House and Beshear

Anonymous said...

Their MSP is at the U of K.

This link will give you an idea of how large a student population is that gets affected. Districts that participate in the MSP programs have to purchase reform textbooks in order to participate.

For example, the Appalachian Mathematics and Science Partnership (AMSP), administered through the University of Kentucky, is an integrated, comprehensive rural education reform initiative of 10 institutions of higher education, the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, 56 school districts, and more than 400 schools in the four central Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It serves an historically economically disadvantaged region, in which geographic isolation, lack of life resources and poorly funded schools present major barriers to education reform. The network of partnerships within the entire K-16 educational continuum has created and successfully implemented innovative, traditional and online mathematics and science programs in pre-service and in-service teacher enhancement, school improvement and program enhancement, and research and evaluation involving more than 50 faculty, 150 superintendents and principals and 2,000 K-12 teachers instructing more than 70,000 students.

There are 52 partnerships and 30 large scale reform projects. This is the only research that is getting funded. So I wouldn't put much faith in it. The numbers don't reflect what's observed happening in classrooms. ARRS(Absolutely Ridiculous Research and Speeches) is a poor substitute for math curriculum.