Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Board Testimony 1-6-2010

Tonight marks my conclusion of three years of testimony before this body.

You will approve a $320,000 supplemental service contract for eligible students at 13 schools because the law requires you to do so. Following the law is a best practice in Seattle.

Adopting math materials that serve educationally disadvantaged learners appropriately clearly is NOT a best practice in Seattle. NOR is factoring public testimony into decision making. What happens for the students who are enrolled elsewhere than those 13 schools? Nothing they are stuck.

You now have the k-12 vertically aligned math curriculum that your superintendent wanted. Except the k-8 part has not worked for years.

The district submitted over 1000 pages to Superior court explaining the factors behind the high school math adoption selection. Public input was not considered as Zero pages of it was tendered to the court. The folks who think public testimony is just a meaningless formality to this district appear to be correct.

This board’s promotion/ non-promotion policies requiring effective interventions have been ignored for years.

It shows as for Black students in grade 4
48% are at level 1 in math on the WASL

for 7th grade it is 59% ….. for grade 10 it is 68%

In the high school adoption the program manager cited an analysis of “Discovering Math” by Dr James King in which he said the series was mathematically sound.

Would he know? He directed an NSF math project at Cleveland that after three years in 2009 left 75% of Black students with WASL scores of level 1 or no score. These students all had sophomore credits.

When it comes to math adoptions this district prefers to search the nation for results that can be used to justify their selections. Like New York City or Madison, Wisconsin while avoiding Everett and Lake Washington. Particularly bizarre was the idea that high school materials needed to be vertically aligned with k-8 but avoiding Seattle’s k-8 math data.

Speaking of avoiding data … the October 2008 PSAT results have yet to be released to the public in any useful form. But 7 months after the testing you made a math adoption.
The current governance model is not open, transparent, or accountable.

Just look at the pathetic results and the lack of any meaningful action toward improvement.

Do any of you actually believe that every school will be a quality school?
Check the relevant data instead of fairy-tales.

Thank you.

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