Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Likely SBE actions for Thursday

Here are the final recommendations from Strategic Teaching as well as a draft recommendation from Steve Floyd and Edie Harding to the Board for potential action on March 13th.

I. Strategic Teaching Recommendations

After the Math Panel meeting, Strategic Teaching developed recommendations based on its findings:

Recommend Holt because it exceeds the threshold for content alignment and meets the minimum standard for mathematical soundness.

Do not recommend Discovering, which was found to be mathematically compromised within the scope of this project.

Communicate to districts the additional challenges that would come from a Glencoe or, especially, a Core-Plus adoption that were identified within the scope of this project.

Communicate the findings of this report and the more detailed reviewer reports to the publishers. Some publishers may make adjustments that make Washington’s work easier. Hopefully it will strengthen textbooks in the long run.

Expand the examination of mathematical soundness to other programs with strong content matches. Additionally, OSPI should find ways to strengthen the soundness of the programs that are reviewed and meet minimum standards.

Have OSPI consider ways to leverage district work such as a statewide consortium or work groups to share supplements and instructional practices that shore up identified weaknesses.

Track student progress against the curriculum adopted by a district. Over time, Washington can make a signification contribution to what is known about program effectiveness.

Communicate the findings of this report and the more detailed reviewer reports to the publishers. Many will be able to make adjustments to make Washington’s work easier.

Establish a schedule to conduct a complete review of instructional programs every two years. Consider a policy that recommends only and all programs that meet minimum thresholds for both content and soundness.

II. Recommended Board Action

SBE staff recommends that the Board approve the Strategic Teaching report and transmit to OSPI.

The Board believes that the OSPI findings on content alignment were well documented and will be helpful to districts.

There is disagreement between the OSPI mathematical soundness review and that of the SBE consultant. In addition the SBE consultant did not find that any of the programs to be strong in terms of its definition of mathematical soundness. Therefore, the Board recommends that additional work be done to reconcile the two different reviews of mathematical soundness and expand the review of mathematical soundness to all programs that OSPI ranked with a composite score of 0.755, which would require the review of three more programs, plus the four reviewed. The Board suggests that this work be done before OSPI recommends three curricular programs. This work should involve an independent review and not be done by the consultants who did the current work.

Edie Harding
Executive Director
State Board of Education

Bob's thoughts:

The whole purpose for having precise standards and state recommended curricula was to make sure that all Washington students are being taught the same mathematics. That mathematics was supposed to be equivalent to what top international countries are using. The issue isn't about using Integrated curriculum.. .. It's about using integrated curricula that is so misaligned to the state standards that a Core 1 student can't even pass an Algebra I test. In fact, a Core Plus student doesn't learn all of Algebra I until they have taken three years of Core math. There is no international curricula that doesn't teach students the equivalent of Algebra I by the 9th grade. Japanese students are learning Algebra II in the 9th grade (I have their text books). Core Plus not only doesn't align to our standards, it leaves students far behind international standards.

Instead of asking if it is fair that Core Plus students should have to take the same test as Algebra I students.... we should be asking is it fair that students are taking Core Plus at all? Watering down the standards should not be the solution. Core Plus students from Bellevue averaged 42% on the achieve Algebra II test.... Do we call that preparing students to compete in a global economy?


Anonymous said...

Will be interesting to hear what the SBE decides?


Jamal said...
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