**Seattle adopted Math texts that were clearly the worst of the four sets reviewed by the SBE MAP of which I was a member.**

How could this occur?

The SBE independent review of aligned math texts was unanimously mandated by law as an oversight to OSPI's work because the Legislature - and public - did not trust Terry Bergeson and her direction for Washington Math.

Taxpayers paid good money for that crucial information so it would benefit WA students and

**help prevent school districts from wasting scarce money on “mathematically unsound” textbooks.**

Seattle School Directors were in my opinion misled by Ms. Greta Bornemann on May 6, 2009.

In her presentation she discounted two years of work by SBE MAP when

**she failed to explain that: the finding of Mathematically Unsound was delivered not just by two mathematicians but by the MAP members after hours of discussion ... as required by law.**

She referenced quick short reviews (by King & Bright) commissioned by Terry Bergeson in a way to make them seem equally valid as the SBE MAP findings, which they are not.

Ms. Bornemann has been an enthusiastic supporter of Inquiry/Discovery based materials through much of her career. She is a past recipient of NSF grants supporting Discovery/Inquiry work. She has written an article published in the March 2009 Mathematics Teacher, which clearly shows her preference for Reform Math Inquiry based materials. I would have little problem with her views (she can have opinions),

**but I have a major problem when she misleads public officials.**

After three years of work ... trying to improve mathematics statewide but in particular for disadvantaged learners in Seattle, I am totally disgusted.

Instead of the NMAP recommendations to prepare children for Authentic Algebra and provide access to an "Authentic Algebra" class ... the Seattle kids get "Pretend Algebra" and "Pseudo Geometry".

After three years of work ... trying to improve mathematics statewide but in particular for disadvantaged learners in Seattle, I am totally disgusted.

Instead of the NMAP recommendations to prepare children for Authentic Algebra and provide access to an "Authentic Algebra" class ... the Seattle kids get "Pretend Algebra" and "Pseudo Geometry".

## 8 comments:

The OSPI 'new?' Chief of Staff (lobbyist) represents the same old flat-footed approach that has plagued Washington's reform efforts for years. He's worked for Bergeson, Billings, and now Dorn. I wouldn't anticipate any sort of change soon. Its business as usual. Education in Washington is presently like a bucket full of holes - it don't hold water.

SBE MAP hired two mathematicians to tell them what they already decided to be fact: Discovery is "unsound" (whatever that means). You brought on mathematicians that you knew were going to give you the answers you wanted.

Most of the statistics have shown that (like everything else in the world) A BALANCE is needed in math education. Students need both discovery and practice/drills to be successful. This, however, is completely lost on the school board. It's only about "winning", where "winning" means getting your way.

Our generation doesn't need old white men like you telling us how we should learn. We're over getting lectured to about an algorithm and then drill and killing for the next hour. We want to interact and explore for ourselves.

Your generation just wanted to sit in front of the TV, we want to engage with our peers on the internet. An algorithm isn't hard to learn, I can program a computer to do it easily. What sets us apart is our ability to think - something that is never tapped into with drill and kill methodologies. The kids just memorize and never think for themselves which does them a disservice when they enter college and the work force.

Your need to be winners in this math war is so incredibly damaging. It's almost sad that you don't realize it. I can only wait for when our generation takes the reigns and finally some real change can come to this state.

It would probably do you some good to read as well: Try Don Tapscott's "Growing up Digital" and get a clue.

I really doubt students raised with Everyday Math and Discovery Algebra will ever learn enough math and science to make a living wage using the internet. It hasn't happenned yet. What statistics are you using? Core Plus's?

So what's your idea of education technology? Powerpoint?

BALANCE doesn't lie somewhere between stupid and smart. Singapore is a much better, well thought out textbook and I trust their research more than our own publishers - McGraw-Hill, Glencoe, etc. Reform math hasn't convinced the public yet, that they are even on the same side.

So when do you think those WASL test scores will ever go up? We're all waiting for the day, hopefully before I retire.

Here's a recommendation from someone who knows about Discovery Algebra...this person thinks its going to energize American education....

"Our generation doesn't need old white men like you telling us how we should learn.

We're over getting lectured to about an algorithm and then drill and killing for the next hour. We want to interact and explore for ourselves.

Your generation just wanted to sit in front of the TV, we want to engage with our peers on the internet.

An algorithm isn't hard to learn, I can program a computer to do it easily."

(I doubt you can do it - silly rabbit aka math consultant aka sales representative)

I don't think Dan Tapscott had reform math on his mind when he was writing about the internet. Its not the first time reform math advocates have attempted to attach themselves to something (as if it helps) - take constructivism for example. How many math reformers claim to be constructivist? It is a joke!

Dear Anon at May 10, 2009 9:53 PM,

Have you:

1.. Looked at Discovering Algebra?

2.. Looked at Singapore math through Primary grade 6?

3.. Looked at Singapore Math Elementary books 1, 2, 3, 4 for grades 7, 8, 9, and 10?

4.. Watched Two Million Minutes?

Try Two Million Minutes the India follow up and then the China follow up.

The USA soon will not even be able to replace NASA and Defense Department engineers with US citizens as required by law.

Where are there any winners in USA math education currently?

Sorry my campaign about the need for internationally competitive math programs bothers you.

We want to interact and explore for ourselves.Good Luck with this but a sound base from actually knowing some mathematics may help.The number of students in second year Calculus classes declines every year. Perhaps the benefits of explore for ourselves has not kicked in yet.

"Discovering Algebra" is nothing more than "Pretend" Algebra.

This is refrshing.

What sort of a math education does a typical Washington state high school student actually receive?

Integrated Math 1 (1st semester algebra)

Integrated Math 2 (2nd semester algebra)

Geometry (11th grade)

Math 12 (12th grade)

Is this really better than the math twenty years ago? How are enrollments in physics and chemistry? Declining? That's not a surprise.

Anon May 10th 2009 9:53pm said:

"Your need to be winners in this math war is so incredibly damaging. It's almost sad that you don't realize it. I can only wait for when our generation takes the reigns and finally some real change can come to this state."

Hey there Anon, what was your math SAT score? Did you break 500? The numbers don't lie, SAT math scores have been declining over the last 20 years, coincident with nationwide deployment of Mathematical Creationism.

Sadly, it is many (not all) in your generation that have been misled by the neo-Socratic pedagogical fundamentalists, to the detriment of your personal economic viability and the international competitiveness of our nation.

Had you only sufficient math skills, you could figure it out for yourself.

Regards,

SAT Math 700

Class of 1980

PS: By the way, its 'reins', not 'reigns'...'reins' steer a horse, while 'reigns' are the time periods ruled by kings.

We're not ruled by kings (or Nazi or Communist dictators) nor do we recognize the institution of slavery in this country, thanks in large part to many hundreds of thousands of 'old white men' who you'll never have the privilege of meeting, because they've passed on to eternity.

As we all will too someday including yourself, so have some respect.

Lets here some more from Randy the Reigndeer.

"Your need to be winners in this math war is so incredibly damaging."

We know. Thank you!

"It's almost sad that you don't realize it. I can only wait for when our generation takes the reigns and finally some real change can come to this state."

Which generation are you talking about? Your grandchildren?

Which textbook will they be using?

We've had math reform textbooks for twenty years and its a good thing for math reformers the public isn't allowed to vote or speak publicly out against it. What next? Do you propose for us to stop thinking?

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