Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Seattle Times two thoughts




Anonymous said...

When an editorial board writer thinks it's "imperical knowledge", instead of empirical knowledge, she is likely simply parroting what she has heard.

Hard to imagine this mistake would have been made by someone who had done any research on the subject. Too many bad math decisions are being made out of deference to degrees and job titles despite all the evidence that the programs chosen are faulty in purpose and execution.

Anonymous said...

Parrot math? Might be a Hechinger graduate - I wonder who edits the editors? UW LIFE? I would call this a Dog and Parrot show.

Anonymous said...


This exerpt describes how a superintendent controls a 'textbook adoption'.

"In December, I was made aware of an email that Mrs. McConnell had sent to various board members, about a mathematics meeting at the Middle School at the beginning of Christmas Break. This meeting was with the sixth grade math teachers and it was conducted by Mrs. McConnell.

Mrs. Cummings came to the meeting as well. She is on the curriculum committee and was interested in finding out and learning about the progress of Everyday Math in the sixth grade. When Mrs. Cummings entered the meeting and pulled up a chair to sit down.

Mrs. McConnell told her that "this is a private meeting" and she was not allowed to be there. So the meeting was moved to the High School without Mrs. Cummings.

Mrs. McConnell locked her and the teachers at the math meeting in a room to keep either Mrs. Cummings from entering her private math meeting of keep the teachers from leaving the room.

There are two versions of this entire ordeal. Mrs. McConnell's or all of the teachers in attendance including Mrs. Cummings.

Within this noted email, my wife, another teacher and myself were referenced. My wife and the other teacher were discussed about them being friends and how the connection was made with myself.

This was uncalled for and an invasion of all of the parties mentioned privacy. In this same email, Mrs. McConnell made reference to my public records request and questioning Mrs. Best about the Everyday Mathematics series.

Mrs. McConnell questioned my integrity and intelligence of this math course. She questioned how a business man who has never implemented a series would know those particular questions.

The use of implemented is very vague. All implement means is to carry out. So I interpret that as the superintendent's purchase of Everyday Math and nothing more than that.

My answer to that is: open up the Everyday Mathematics books your children have and their workbooks.

If any of you can understand it, please do what you can to help these kids. Does anyone know anything about this program? It does not and I repeat does not teach the state standards.

If this was used when we were in school, we would have never been able to understand bowling scores. This program is called: "fuzzy mathematics" and it is not good. Why would any school district implement this, when they are half way into a math program that is improving scores.

The special education students have to use the same program as well. What is fair about that?

This math series has cost the district over one hundred thousand dollars. This fiscal year, the district will have to budget approximately twenty five dollars per student for materials, workbooks, etc...

The board of education was not consulted and the superintendent purchased this without any recommendation by the board or the curriculum committee.

If anyone wants to learn more about Everyday Math, I would suggest going to: http://wheresthemath.com/blog/. You will learn more and become even more frustrated about the " implementation" of this math series.

What was this Superintendent's previous background?

Title I Reading Specialist (the plot thickens)

Don't forget that in Texas there are only two groups of textbooks: Acceptable and Not Acceptable (Either category of textbook can be adopted by a district)

Out of 162 submissions, Everyday Math (3rd Grade) was the only textbook rejected from both lists. Then McGraw, the publisher of Everyday Math sued the State Board of Education for rejecting the textbook (claiming censorship because the book had met the Texas Math Standards).

Once more, why would a superintendent with no previous math curriculum experience, previously employed at a Regional Educational Center, as one of her first administrative decisions, replace a perfectly good math program with a controversial, less proven program (at substantial expense)? It makes no sense.

A similiar letter was sent to a Dallas newspaper from another school board member regarding a similiar adoption.

We see the pattern, but not the motive! Why?