Sunday, August 23, 2009

Math lessons add up -- NOT

Math lessons add up
Districts see improvements after implementing ‘everyday’ approach to mathematics
by Ed Mahon

My response to this article follows:
The article names no districts that saw improvements. An inspection of the research on the 12,600 grades 3-5 students used reveals serious questions.

From the article:
Everyday Math (EDM) as one of two math programs with enough data to prove it’s had a positive impact on student achievement. On average, performance increases by 6 percentile points, the research found.

Here is what WWC really said: “Everyday Mathematics was found to have potentially positive effects on students' math achievement.” Last updated 4-30-07 and based on 12,600 students grade 3-5.

EDM has too many topics per grade level; it does not teach to mastery, it emphasizes its own focus algorithms rather than the traditional standard algorithms. It does not teach Long Division perhaps because it glosses over the multiplication needed for long division to be attempted. They recommend pick up a calculator for division.

The National Math Advisory Panel recommends against the EDM type of spiraling. The NMAP also recommends “Explicit Instruction” for those struggling to learn math. In Seattle, which adopted EDM on May 30, 2007, two years of state test data at grade 4 reveal a colossal failure. {Much like Denver's EDM - Connected Math k-8 combination.. another BIG failure}

Seattle for the last two years increased math class time to 75 minutes per day, invested heavily in professional development and coaching, and carefully followed the EDM pacing plan. Seattle used mostly TERC/Investigations (a poor program) prior to EDM. The percentage of students scoring at level 1 (the clueless level on math testing) increased in the last two years from already unacceptable levels. Here are the last four years of Level 1 scores - note EDM gets the credit for the last two.

year : 2006 :2007 : 2008 : 2009
White: 5.9% : 7.9% : 9.3% : 7.5%
Hispanic: 28.5% : 33.6% : 40.4% : 38.9%
Low Income : 33.0% : 36.0% : 40.0% : 38.2%
Black : 39.2% : 40.5% : 44.4% : 48.1%
Lim English : 45.3% : 52.2% : 58.0% : 50.9%

Education fails to use relevant data to make intelligent decisions. Fads and adherence to failed ideology are preferred over empirical evidence. Read John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” to find out those practices, which actually work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Centre County is definitely in the forefront for math and science reform. Pawelcyzk and Nelson are both astronaut payload specialists. Pawelcyzk is also a school board member and professor at PSU.

The NSTA Learning Center is on this campus. Nelson is former director AAAS and presently directs the MSP providing the teacher training for most of Western Washington (45 school districts).

If you visit the NSTA Learning Center you can buy curriculum created by Dr. Nelson.

What is gravity?

“Money was made, not to command our will, But all our lawful pleasures to fulfill. Shame and woe to us, if we our wealth obey; The horse doth with the horseman away.” - DP