Sunday, March 22, 2009

A comment at the SPS Blog on Math Direction

dan dempsey said...

The contents below are posted as comment #27 on the SPS Blog
at this location:

There are operable links at the above location that are not operable below.
Charlie said that the time for math input has passed. Consider this:

Ms. de la Fuente said there is a difference in the evaluations done on Discovering Algebra etc. She is absolutely correct on that. Dr George Bright with a PhD. in education not math who was hired by Terry Bergeson to push her programs found the "Discovering Series" sound. Dr James King of the UW who spent years trying to push IMP into Seattle and spent lots of NSF funding at Cleveland and still created a debacle (check Cleveland's Math WASL scores here for the two years of IMP

year ... Cleveland....Dist .... State
2004-05 23.2% . 40.8% . 47.5%
2005-06 21.1% . 55.7% . 51.0%
2006-07 17.9%. 50.2% . 50.4%
2007-08 12.2% . 50.4% . 49.6%

That would be the same Dr. King who has published a book through Key Curriculum Press. He finds the Discovering Series from Key Curriculum press sound. So what?
(This is a clear conflict of interest is it not?)

That would be the same UW that influenced OSPI and Seattle to adopt the extremely weak math materials of the last decade. Yes UW helped push Everyday Math into Bethel School District at the same time Seattle adopted EDM. Ms. Santorno knows very little about math and yet she unilaterally pushed EDM into Seattle. When TERC/Investigations was meeting resistance in Bethel and Seattle both districts switched their push from TERC to EDM (with UW guidance I believe).

The difference of opinion is that the State Board of Education contracted with Strategic Teaching and ST paid for an analysis by the Head of the Johns Hopkins University math department W. Stephen Wilson and independently another PhD. mathematician who has had a lot of experience in math education from California Dr. Harel.

Unfortunately our SPS Math Program director was too busy to attend the Strategic Teaching Analysis of high school math materials in Renton. In fact there was no one there from the SPS. So the SPS math program manager with the BA in English and Masters in Education says that there is a difference of opinion.

There has also been a difference of opinion in whether the SPS is following the State Math standards in grades k-5 this year. Clearly anyone following what has happened this year will notice that the Everyday Math pacing guide is being followed which ignores large portions of the WA state Math Grade level expectations.

Ms. de la Fuente tells us that the Immediate Actions specified on pg 17 of the Strategic Plan are being followed.

You be the judge:
Immediate Actions

• Math: A Math Project Team will develop an implementation plan and timeline for action during summer 2008. Alignment of the elementary and middle school instructional materials to the new State Performance Expectations will be completed this summer.

This happened just like Singapore Math has been implemented as a supplement and been in use since fall 2007.

Does the School Board actually believe any of this?

I guess it is just very convenient to hold no one accountable.

Did the Strategic Plan Update include any of this?
The SPS in math is currently way off track from State Math Standards, the National Math Advisory Panel recommendations, as well as Seattle Transition Math Project plans in how to reduce the number of SPS grads needing math remediation when entering local colleges.
If there had been no state math standards, no NMAP, no Seattle TMP what would be different about SPS math?
The Answer is absolutely nothing ... because all of this direction has been ignored by the SPS.

Yes I believe that Ms. de la Fuente is a PhD. candidate at the UW. I thought follow the leader was fun when I was 5 years old. If our leader is UW College of Education or UW math help, I suggest we look for a new direction for SPS math. That is my difference of opinion.

To Improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.
Is anyone looking for improvement?


Anonymous said...

Dr. Bright coauthored Math Advantage published by Harcourt. I think you'll find him closely connected to Project 2061 and Pinky Nelson and George Kulm. Nelson is directing your MSP through NCOSP at WWU.

Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks
A Benchmarks-Based Evaluation
Math Advantage
Authors: Grace M. Burton, Evan M. Maletsky, George W. Bright, Sonia M. Helton, Loye Y. (Mickey) Hollis, Howard C. Johnson, Evelyn M. Neufeld, Vicki Newman, Terence H. Perciante, Karen A. Schultz, and Muriel Burger Thatcher

Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company

Edition: 1998

Anonymous said...

Kulm did the standards/wasl alignment years back and evaluates the math reform programs in your state along with Joe Merlino. Your state just happens to have alot of these non-performing reformers. May the moss grow where its least wanted.

dan dempsey said...

Apparently Ms. de la Fuente conveniently chose to ignore the math analysis done for all three SPS HS math finalists by Dr. John Lee of UW and sent to her on May 4, 2009.