Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UW Professional Development Gone Bad
A Report on some of the Damage

Show me the Results
... or Show me the Money

With various funding sources but primarily National Science Foundation grants, University of Washington led professional development for math teachers has been an absolute disaster for far too many students at Cleveland, Garfield, and Rainier Beach high schools. (also throughout most of the district with the Discovery/Inquiry approach)

The UW began professional development in concert with the Seattle Schools central administrative personnel in Fall 2004 at Garfield and Cleveland. Each school began a school-wide unmonitored three year math experiment that ran from Fall 2006 through Spring 2009. This experiment used inquiry learning in small cooperative groups and Key Curriculum Press' "Interactive Mathematics Program" text books. During the last two school years the UW has been professionally developing the math teachers at Rainier Beach high school. RBHS math teachers received an extra planning period, a common planning period, in which they were able to plan lessons using the "Complex-Instruction" training they had received.
(check RBHS 2009 & 2010 scores below)

In the Fall of 2009 every high school school in Seattle began using Key Curriculum Press' "Discovering Mathematics" series. The University of Washington's Dr. James King found these books very appropriate. The State Board of Education found them "Mathematically Unsound".
(check 2010 scores below - contrast 2009 to 2010 changes in Seattle with the change in State averages)

So how did it go?


Check the test results for the last five years. Note the special IMP projects ran at Cleveland* & Garfield* in 2007, 2008, 2009. Garfield is Seattle's Academic Magnet High School.

For Black Students :

Spring of year
tested - Cleveland - Garfield - RBHS - SPS avg - State Avg
2006 ---- 8.5% ---- 28.1% ------ 22.0% ---- 21.7% -- 23.2%
2007 --- 11.0%* --- 30.1%* ----- 36.2% ---- 19.6% -- 22.5%
2008 ---- 6.3%* --- 22.5%* ----- 21.6% ---- 16.0% -- 22.2%
2009 --- 12.7%* --- 29.8%* ----- 15.6% ---- 16.3% -- 20.9%
2010 ---- 5.7% ---- 16.7% ------ 3.9% --- 12.4% -- 19.0%

For Limited English Students :

Spring of year
tested - Cleveland - Garfield - RBHS - SPS avg - State Avg
2006 ------- 18.0% ---- 11.1% --- none -- 16.3% -- 12.8%
2007 ------- 15.4%* ---- 5.0%* --- none -- 13.6% -- 10.7%
2008 -------- 4.8%* ---- 0.0%* --- none -- 19.5% -- 12.7%
2009 -------- 0.0%* --- 16.7%* --- none -- 11.2% --- 8.1%
2010 -------- 3.3% ----- 0.0% --- none --- 6.7% --- 9.3%

The collapse of Rainier Beach pass rate scores on Spring OSPI Math testing has been particularly evident as measured in the pass rates by income level note the UW professional development came the last two years and focused upon Profession Development using Complex Instruction.

Rainier Beach High School for Non Low-Income and Low Income students:

Spring of year
tested - Non Low-Inc. --- Low Income
2006 ---------- 23.1% ------- 30.0%
2007 ---------- 45.7% ------- 32.8%
2008 ---------- 35.3% ------- 25.6%
2009 ---------- 12.5% ------- 20.0%
2010 ----------- 5.0% ------- 17.2%


One Source of Seattle's many problems that contribute to lack of math achievement is at UW and sponsored with NSF funds -- your tax dollars working counterproductively.

The Mathematics Education Project
(MEP) is a professional development resource for educators, who are committed to transforming K-12 mathematics teaching and learning so all students develop accurate, reliable and flexible strategies and a robust understanding of mathematical concepts.

A major problem with MEP is MEP's goals are focused on teachers not on improving student performance.
Check out the MEP goals HERE.

The Mathematics Education Project is the outgrowth of two projects funded by the National Science Foundation – Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners. Through these projects, a community of educators from K-12 schools and the University of Washington gained extensive knowledge of research-based professional development resources, the art of facilitation, teacher leadership development, strategies for working with administrators and parents, and factors that contribute to sustainability of change. Through the MEP, this mathematics community and other colleagues in mathematics education at the UW intend to reach out to districts in the state of Washington and other states in the region.

From the MEP website, where nine instructors are listed:

Lisa (#4) supports secondary math teachers to use Complex Instruction strategies to create classroom communities that promote equitable student participation. Her research focuses on the ways in which mathematics classrooms that use Complex Instruction provide opportunities for students to use their salient identities as cultural tools for learning mathematics.

Anita's (#7) research and professional development focus is teacher preparation that supports racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students to thrive in mathematically rich environments.

Rosemary (#8) is director of Center Connect, the College of Education's outreach unit, and senior director in UW Educational Outreach. She coordinates the development and offering of content-focused professional development for educators. Most recently, she has been project director for Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners.

Gini (#9) works to bridge the worlds of math education research and those directly responsible for the teaching and learning of mathematics within schools by supporting districts with a long-term vision for systemic change. Most recently Gini has been involved in researching Leadership Content Knowledge as a result of her work as the internal evaluator of Lenses on Learning Secondary.

A lot of NSF tax-payer dollars were spent.
So where are the results?

Clearly the focus is NOT on effective and efficient ways to learn mathematics in the classroom. LOOK at the RESULTS of two years of this practice at Rainier Beach High School.

Where is the Accountability for this complete disaster?

Note the Superintendent has appealed a Superior Court ruling that found the Board's approval of the "Discovering Math" series to be "Arbitrary and Capricious". The Board excluded evidence in making its decision. The District has refused to remake the decision using all the evidence.

The SPS has a poor definition of Mathematics:

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. This definition is a primary source of SPS's failure to effectively and efficiently mathematically educate its students.

Three years of Southeast Education Initiative spending at Rainier Beach was a complete disaster. No I did not get the Non-Low-Income mixed up with the Low Income.

Three years of SEI spending ended August 31, 2010. The SEI was all 100% a Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson production. The Board seems to have never looked for any results from SEI spending.

No wonder "Five" Directors voted to extend her contract despite a damning state audit. These "Five" Directors DO NOT pay attention to data or even look for it.

1 comment:

Catherine Johnson said...

so all students develop accurate, reliable and flexible strategies

"Developing strategies" instead of "acquiring knowledge": that language is always the tip-off.