Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Seattle Math Update for the board 1/21/2009

This was on the published agenda and scheduled for the School Board on Wednesday 1/21/2009.
Then the actual presentation was pulled from the meeting agenda.
Thus this Math Update has yet to be formally given but was on the SPS website.

If you read the above presentation you will notice that it fails to take into account the New Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn.

The recommendations for k-8 that this update mentions are in need of correction. Mr Dorn has no intention of recommending Bridges to Mathematics for elementary school.

In November of 2008 Strategic Teaching reported

K-5 Recommendations:
Keep: Math Connects
Revisit: Bridges in Mathematics
Add: Math Expressions

6-8 Recommendations:
Keep: Holt Mathematics
Keep: Math Connects
Add: Prentice Hall Mathematics

Bridges in Mathematics was found to be mathematically deficient and Mr. Dorn is not recommending it.

This SPS Math Update is a testament to politics ... the math thought is not very deep.

Everyday Math and Connected Math Project 2 are a defective base to attempt to build a program on, if your intention is to have children be successful at the collegiate level in mathematics.

The November election tossed out Dr. Bergeson but it appears that her inadequate most WASL aligned math programs are still being defended whether they work or not.

I do not believe that the school board selected Singapore Math as a problem supplement on May 30, 2007 but since there is no video and no record of this meeting... who knows. It is my belief that a Singapore Math text book and a workbook were to be purchased for each child in each grade. Instead only a practice book was purchased.

What I do know is that Singapore Math teaches children methods of thinking and these methods are missing from the SPS math plan.

In the Math update I seem to have missed anything about 100% Singapore Math at Schmitz Park elementary and 100% Saxon at North Beach elementary.. If the state begins to test actual math skills ... this could be interesting to follow.

It should be noted that, despite all the coaching dollars expended and the increase in math class time to 75 minutes per day, grade 4 WASL math passing scores declined by over 5%.

I guess we must just wonder about everyone held accountable.
SPS adopts a failing program from Denver and it does not work here, what a surprise. The update let us know that there are no funds to correct this error.

With the high school adoption coming, it is interesting to note that:
1.. the WASL at high school will be gone
2.. course ending assessments will be put in place for Algebra and Geometry
... and Integrated Math I and Integrated Math II
3.. in the preliminary rankings of traditional Algebra .. Geometry .. Algebra II
and rankings of Integrated Math texts, the highest rated integrated text was Core-Plus ... when put in with the AGA ranked books it came in around 5th or 6th.

Mathematical thought in math planning at both the state level and in Seattle is hampered by excessive political nonsense.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.
-- W. E. Deming (1900-1993)

From Randy Dorn:
In spring 2010, the WASL will be replaced by the Measurements of Student Progress (MSP), administered in grades 3-8, and the High School Proficiency Exams (HSPE), which will serve as the tests to meet the state reading and writing graduation requirements. On a parallel track, we will replace the current math and science tests as we review and refine the standards for those content areas. We must ensure the standards are workable and reflect the real-life needs of our students. I will put forward legislation during this legislative session to delay the effective dates of the graduation requirements tied to those standards and tests until the State Board of Education can make a finding that they are “valid and reliable.” We are also planning to move the spring “accountability test,” which meets the requirements set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, to later in the spring.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What teachers don't realize yet is that they will be held accountable for the curriculum. Not the publishers, not the state, or the educrats. The latest fix-it software inputs student scores by classroom and teacher. It requires full-time district staff to coordinate the extra testing and input the data. Then teachers have the luxury of seeing their productivity on a computer screen - classes, school, and district. What you do with the data is sheer guesswork. But its being used against teachers who have the courage to question authority.

I have access to one computer and no printer. I use Explorer, a district mail program, and an electronic roll book that allows me to input grades every six weeks.

On the loss side, I have seven PowerMacs and not one works. A broken printer given to me by another teacher. I have no lab equipment. There are not enough books for students. The majority of my students can't read their books.

10% of my students at the end of 18 weeks couldn't decipher "x over 2 = 18"