Sunday, May 3, 2009

Michael DeBell an eloquent 10 minutes

Director Michael DeBell gave an eloquent 10 minutes on Math thoughts. This needs to be seen by anyone with concerns about school mathematics in the USA.

Available at YouTube 9 min 38 sec

Write your school board member and express your opinion:

Michael DeBell,
Mary Bass,
Harium Martin-Morris,

Sherry Carr,
Steve Sundquist,
Peter Maier,
Cheryl Chow,

More info on the Seattle Adoption on You Tube..
The board members will either:

#1.) Follow the wishes of parents that would like example based instructional materials for their children, in the hopes their children will receive adequate k-12 math preparation to have a shot at collegiate math success and great careers.

Or #2.) Follow the wishes of a Central administration that will deny the children and their parents Example Based Instructional materials.

Michael DeBell wants to change math direction with #1 and eloquently states his reasons.

Do Directors Steve Sundquist and Sherry Carr really support #2?
I just find this hard to believe.


Anonymous said...

Standing in the middle of a rigged game. I have thought long about the parallels between banks and our public schools. Thus far, only about 15% of the bad loans have been disclosed. We are continually reminded that we are almost out of the woods, but I can't see the edge yet, can anyone?

From a recent Turner broadcast:
"Paulson and Timmy along with Benny have conspired to reflate Goldman’s balance sheet tossing nearly, or over $200 Billion of taxpayer cash to AIG. Of course it’s not AIG that’s getting healed. Its Goldman getting most of the AIG funneled billions in derivative pay-offs leaving some other scraps for a few others. We [Wiegand] saw an email from Germany yesterday indicating a majority of the top twenty banks were toast and that Goldman in particular was 1,000% underwater on derivatives versus capital."

When are we ever going to pull the plug on math reform and get back to the business of educating our kids? We won't go forward, unless we first change our paradigm of 'curriculum' development.

dan dempsey said...

Looks to me like May 6, 2009 is a great starting place. Director BeBell wants to change direction and a vote to change direction is a great beginning.

Next to get this k-12 wreck back on the tracks is a re-write of the SPS math definition:
Mathematics is the language and science of patterns and connections. Learning and doing mathematics are active processes in which students construct meaning through exploration and inquiry of challenging problems.A statement about what needs to be learned and how that will happen seems like a next step.
Let me make it clear, we need a lot more than posting of WA State Math grade level performance expectations. The district currently ignores those expectations and carries on with business as usual, which has been the SPS normal mode of operation for math.

Anonymous said...

Appears Holt is only recommended curriculum by OSPI(5/4/09).

dan dempsey said...

Yup -- just Holt and not much of a statement from OSPI:

Anonymous said...

Example Based Math! What a joke! This is code for teaching math in an old and archaic way. The reason reform math gained momentum is because of the poor teaching that was happening in the "example based" classroom. Math is a language that can be taught to all students, not just those that already "speak" the jargon of algorithms. Also, a major problem is that these math "teachers" (everyone in the schools know these are the worse teachers) only teach to those students that already "understand." They don't teach, they just stand in the front and write algorithms on the board, rarely understanding or explaining how this knowledge can be applied. All these anti-reformers want is to return to the "club mentality" of math instruction. In learning a language, one never just learns the words, one learns to use their knowledge in a practical and useful means. Our current financial mess is probably led by people taught math in the good 'ole way, knowledge without application. How about some reality-based math!

Anonymous said...

hmm, how about for starters lattice multiplication. Gee, that's an algorithm and it looks like long multiplication. Too bad nobody else uses it - except, Everyday Math. And lets have the kids learn as many non-standard algorithms as they can, so they'll stay really confused.

Want to learn how to multiply numbers past 32. Don't bother reading third grade Everyday Math, because it isn't there.

Core plus is reality-based, that is if you want to learn about current events thirty years ago. Its calculator-based - got any graphing calculators you can spare? And Core plus uses examples too, except nobody can understand what they're saying, not even the trainers.

Without proper textbooks, teachers are resorting to rules and worksheets. That's reality.

Anonymous said...

Adopting Holt? Good thing or bad thing? Sounds very conservative and that's fine by me.

dan dempsey said...

Example Based Math! What a joke! This is code for teaching math in an old and archaic way.Pick up a copy of Singapore Math
New Math Counts a five book series spanning grades 7 through 11.

Hardly old or archaic but filled with examples.

The USA is now #25 out of 30 in PISA math. The faster the good books left the faster the scores declined.

Figuring it out without examples has proved to be a disaster.

dan dempsey said...

Prentice Hall has been touted as being superior to Holt by those that have carefully examined both series.

UW mathematician Jack Lee's review of Prentice Hall was very positive, it largely concentrated on Geometry.

Holt was barely adequate in the SBE mathematicians review. "Discovering" was inadequate.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with you on that. PH is definitely better than Holt. After all the opinions and commenting that's been done against Discovering, I cannot see why SPS just doesn't adopt PH - deep six the ball and chain, then consider what should be done to improve the math curriculum. I still like Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"Example Based Math! What a joke! This is code for teaching math in an old and archaic way."

Amen! The problem is the math teachers, they can not teach. Why do we rely on a generally weak group of teachers for advice about a math text, especially from college instructors that know little about how to teach. They have historically been the worst instructors. We blame the students for not understanding teachers and then blame the books.

Anonymous said...

"Amen, the problem is the math teachers."

A. An Everyday math trainer using the Merlino Defense to inspire public confidence and inflate reality.

B. A cynical UW Life Professor bashing math teachers while remaining anonymous.

C. An English major promoting 'rational' math (his way). Any takers?

D. A libertarian preacher who never liked high school, especially their algebra teacher.

Anonymous said...

What I find amusing about all this, is that we hardly hear from the other side anymore - rather than debate this out in the open, they decide to play at being oysters. I happen to like oysters. But I'm not sure what's better, a screwdriver or a hammer. These reform idiots have even compared me to El Quida. What are they talking about? Comparing them to oysters is an insult to oysters. Grow some brains before you engage the public.

I read recently that the bank 'shock' tests were an attempt to bolster confidence in banks. And then I read that they made an optimistic assumption the unemployment rate would not exceed 9.5%. Now how am I supposed to react to that bit of news? When I know in my neck of the woods, the unemployment rate is already hovering around 11% and it is expected to go as high as 15%. If I were a homeowner I'd sure be hunkering down and praying there'd be someone, with a decent education, who'd earned enough money to buy my house, so I could go live on my retirement. Not. Go Everyday Math.