Tuesday, June 30, 2009

US Coalition for World Class Math!!

*Press Release*
"Extraordinary numbers of grassroots groups have formed in recent years to learn more about current issues in mathematics education and to promote improvements in K-12 mathematics curricula," says Coalition co-founder Timotha Trigg. "Many parents believe there is already a crisis in mathematics education and fear that poor standards, if adopted by states on a national scale, would make the situation even worse."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

MO Governor Signs-on to National Standards Initiative

(click to see the article)
"Nixon, in signing the national memorandum of agreement, made Missouri the 47th state to agree to help develop a list of grade-by-grade core skills that all students in the country should learn."
This could be a good thing...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Important to Know...

California signed-on to the national standards initiative

Penned by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Board of Education President Ted Mitchell, and State Superintendent Jack O'Connell, the Golden State put its name on the dotted line to "develop common core standards" and "participate in the international benchmarking efforts."

In my opinion, California's math standards should set the bar to measure our national standards. I'm SO GLAD that their state officials "cannot commit to adopting [common standards] until [they] have determined that they meet or exceed [their] own."

WAY TO GO CA! Since NGA/CCSSO won't disclose the membership of their writing workgroups, this would probably be a wise stance for all states to adopt.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This Country Deserves Better!!

Sandra Stotsky tells us what’s what:

“If another country wanted other countries to respect its educational system and the reforms it was trying to make, who would it choose to lead such an important professional project as the development of its national standards in mathematics and in the language of its educational system itself? In any other country in the world, one would expect a distinguished mathematician at the college level to be asked to chair the mathematics standards-writing committee–someone who commands the respect of the mathematics profession (and obviously is an expert on mathematics). For the language standards-writing committee, one would likewise expect an eminent scholar in a college-level department–someone whose command of the language and understanding of the texts that inform the development of this language could not be questioned. If the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers had thought about national pride (and national need) as well as academic/educational expertise, then all of us would respect the Common Core Initiative and look forward with eagerness to the drafts the NGA and CCSSO have promised to make public in July.

These two organizations could have followed, for example, the exemplary procedures followed by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, on which I had the privilege to serve. The Panel was chaired by the former president of one of the major universities in the country, all Panel members were identified at the outset, their qualifications were made known to the pubic, their procedures were open to the public and taped as well, and the final product was hammered out in public, after dozens of reviewers provided critical comments.

But instead of choosing nationally known scholars to chair and staff these committees–to assure us of the integrity and quality of the product–the NGA and the CCSSO have, for reasons best known to themselves, treated the initiative as a private game of their own. The NGA and the CCSSO haven’t even bothered to inform the public who is chairing these committees, who is on them, why they were chosen, what their credentials are, and why we should have any confidence whatsoever in what they come up with.

One person has announced on his own to the press and to a state department of education that he is chairing the mathematics standards-writing committee. He has not been contradicted by anyone at NGA or CCSSO, so we must assume he’s for real. It turns out he is an English major with no academic degrees in mathematics whatsoever. No one has yet announced on his/her own that he/she is chairing the English standards-writing committee. One wag has already wondered whether this person might be a mathematics major with no academic degrees in English. But it’s possible the sad joke in mathematics is not being repeated in English.

This country deserved better for a project of such national importance.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tax Dollars at Work - Reprise!

Everyday Math and Investigations are
two of the Elementary Programs given
competitive priority for eMints/METS grants.
(see #8 at above link)
The math programs listed there are the same
programs in the report
On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness:
Juding the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations
Committee for a Review of the Evaluation Data
on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported and Commercially
Generated Mathematics Curriculum Materials

In response to our charge, the committee finds that:
The corpus of evaluation studies as a whole across the 19 programs studied does not permit one to determine the effectiveness of individual programs with high degree of certainty, due to the restricted number of studies for any particular curriculum, limitations in the array of methods used, and the uneven quality of the studies.

Therefore, according to our charge, we recommend that:
No second phase of this evaluation review should be conducted to determine the effectiveness of any particular program or set of curricular programs dependent on the current database.
Your tax dollars are at work, promoting these
commercial products in MO

And check out this district's savings after dropping EDM:
Article about Everyday Math

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Presentation to the State Board of Education

At the bottom of MissouriMath.Org there's a new entry
about the presentation to the
State Board of Education concerning
our state math standards.