Tuesday, January 25, 2011

March 8, 2011 Court Date
For Appeal of
Seattle's High School Math Text Decision

District appeals Judge's order to reconsider text adoption

A court hearing has been set on Tuesday, March 8, 9:30 AM in the Seattle Public Schools' appeal of Judge Julie Spector's 2010 decision in favor of three plaintiffs who challenged the adoption of the Discovering high school math text series.

In the case heard on January 26, 2010, plaintiffs DaZanne Porter, Martha McLaren, and Cliff Mass had presented information in support of their claim that an abundance of evidence showed that the texts were confusing and would impede learning. On February 4th, 2010, Judge Spector ruled the textbook adoption “arbitrary and capricious,” citing a lack of evidence of the texts' efficacy. She ordered the School Board to reconsider its decision. The Seattle School District filed an appeal on March 3, 2010.

In a January 14 brief responding to a “Friend of the Court” statement in support of Seattle Schools by the Washington State School Directors' Association, Plaintiffs' Attorney, Keith Scully stated: “The Superior Court was not empowered to and did not attempt to select a math series for Seattle. It was not empowered to express an opinion on math pedagogy…, and did not do so. There are no impacts of this decision on any other district’s selection of math books, and the Seattle School District is free to develop a record supporting the Discovering Series....[on reconsideration].”

The hearing is scheduled at the Court of Appeals, Division I, One Union Square, 600 University Street, Seattle, at 9:30 AM. The case is listed 6th on the docket; oral arguments in appeals cases are limited to 10 minutes for each side. Presiding over the hearing will be Judges Schindler, Applewick, and Becker.

Link to Plaintiffs' Response to Amicus Curae:

Link to Martha McLaren's blog on this lawsuit, beginning March 4, 2010: http://seattlemathgroup.blogspot.com/

Article IX of the Washington State Constitution states:


It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

This is an interesting statement. Look at the performance of the Seattle Public Schools .... There is no mechanism enforcing the delivery of this ample provision for the education of all.

The paramount duty not only lacks funding but lacks any enforcement of performance metrics. So here we sit with the SPS headed to appeals court.

Note: after Judge Spector's ruling, the results from OSPI's annual testing revealed the 10th grade pass rate for Black students dropped to 12.5% for the District, 5.7% at Cleveland, and 3.9% at Rainier Beach High School. The District's response is no change of math program, but rather to keep outside attorneys employed and head to appeals court.

The Washington State Constitution is a shallow hollow document. How can the Superintendent or the Seattle School Board justify such actions? They do not even try; they just act.

It is interesting that the oath of office taken by school directors seems to be violated so often by them:

Each Director has sworn to “support the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of the State of Washington, and will to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, truly, faithfully, diligently and impartially perform the duties of the office of Seattle School Director."

....hummm ... Have any of the directors read the preamble of Article IX?


Anonymous said...


Neighboring districts are discussing math too.

dan dempsey said...

Here is the above as a hyper-link to Highline School District Math.

I believe that Highline adopted Discovering Math ... Seattle is in Appeals court on March 8, 2011 over their arbitrary and capricious math text approval.