Sunday, April 2, 2017

College and Career Ready for a STEM career? Maybe NOT with Common Core or EngageNY

Recently an EdWeek article (3/28/2017) titled

For Educators, Curriculum Choices Multiply, Evolve:

Common Standards, digital innovation, and open resources are transforming the field

Began with "Educators tasked with finding instructional materials for their districts and classrooms face a dizzying array of options these days."  In the Olympia, WA area in ESD 113, EngageNY (Eureka Math) is the option picked from the dizzying array by several districts; but why?   My only guess is supposed Common Core alignment and good ratings on EdReports at least k-5.

EdReports finds the following about Eureka Math k-8
Focus and Coherence nearly perfect k-8
Rigor and Mathematical Practice at every grade 16/18 
Usability  for k-5 around 33/38  but for 6,7,8 around 25/38

On the other hand, The materials reviewed do not meet expectations for usability and assessment for Grade 6. The materials do not provide strategies for gathering information about students' prior knowledge within and across grade levels. Also, the materials reviewed for Grade 6 do not meet expectations for the criterion for differentiated instructionThere are some limited notes in the margins/boxes of the teacher materials that provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners and a variety of solution strategies are not always encouraged. Overall the Grade 6 material only partially meets the criterion for usability.

What is lacking for nearly every program evaluated by EdReports is evidence of student achievement in school rooms, where the rated materials have been in use.

Oddly there is no EdReports review yet completed for JUMP Math, the grades 1 to 8.  It is a program with strong evidence of student achievement in classrooms.   JUMP Math  is under review at EdReports. I assume it is a coming attraction.

For High School  EngageNY (Eureka Math) is reviewed at EdReports.
Focus and Coherence  15/18
Rigor and Mathematical Practice  12/16
thus for alignment the word is:  Partially Meets Expectations

For Usability it was not rated  
It was not rated for Gateway 3 - Usability 
because it did not meet expectations for Gateways 1 and 2
see: "did not review - learn why" at the bottom of the linked page.

How usable is a high school math program for teachers and students that has no textbooks?
I agree that in a hi-tech age other skills beyond the textbook are needed but the textbook is needed by both teacher and student.


Here is my beef with any district that adopted EngageNY (Eureka Math) in high school.  It goes way beyond any rating from EdReports, there are no textbooks.
Where is the research that shows students without math textbooks in high school are prepared (as in College ready) for University level STEM courses?

My Guess, there is no such research.  To use a collegiate level math textbook requires the ability to read a math textbook. The use of math textbooks prior to college is needed to acquire this skill.  

The decline in NAEP math scores in 2015 shows in all likelihood that the expensive move to Common Core has been counterproductive.  Students get one life and one shot at k-12 education, can destructive direction be ended? 

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