The first lesson of the year I will be required to teach my second graders asks them to use the standard algorithm in subtraction while computing in the hundreds with no prior expertise with number sense. Yikes.

Bitter wind indeed.

]]>Here is the article on saveseattleschools.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Seattle Schools Math Adoption Update

Here’s the latest that I have gleaned from various sources:

– Michael Tolley did indeed, in front of Director McLaren, say that “in effect there is a dual adoption.” This is stunning.

I believe now that if this push to have schools – in effect vote on which math curriculum they want – blows up in staff’s collective faces, they will then say, “Oh, we interpreted the Board vote as dual because we have a math waivers policy.” That may have been why the Superintendent repeatedly told me yesterday that the math waivers policy was important in this discussion.

I’m not sure that CYA will work but good luck. At the worst, someone may be out of a job and at the least, a very bitter wind will continue to blow through this district.

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Posted by Melissa Westbrook at 3:29 PM 20 comments: Links to this post

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Labels: 2014 math, Common Core math, enVision, math adoption, Math in Focus, PASS, Seattle legislators

]]>Common Core is here whether we like or not? Oh ye of little faith. OK and South Caroina just backed out, walked away, yesterday. They will create their own standards. Yes, if can be done.

No curriculum can claim to be fully CC aligned. Can’t be done at this point. But standards are a floor.

There is not “paranoia” about CC but a LOT of parents, community and elected officials with real concerns (not all of them overlapping).

Common Core ONLY prepares students for community college or a low-level college/university. The head writer of the standards said that. On videotape. You could look it up.

that’s one reason to take CC with a huge grain of salt.

]]>I see a vocal group of parents that want math to look the way they remember it looking. That is nostalgia, not rigor. And the result of your nostalgia agenda is that only about 20% of students are prepared to take college level math after high school. And thanks to the decision you fought for so successfully, in Seattle that is not going to change.

]]>Any teacher that has a sense of what good pedagogy is still accelerating work or creating interventions as needed for individual students and classes as a whole, despite whatever curriculum has been laid at their feet. These good teachers find a way to freedom–that’s what’s good for kids. The ACTUAL problem here is that people are hanging onto archaic practices that do not inform or implement teaching deep understanding about mathematics, number, and the important practices that the CCSS put forth. Yes, the basics will be covered and students will have a much deeper, more critical experience with math thanks to new standards. But as my fellow Frustrated friend points out, having students start work without having a solid understanding of what they are doing first will only dictate a wrote practice rather than real knowledge about the process. Unfortunately with new mandated standards, companies still want to make money whether their curricula meet these mandates or not. Truthfully it is too early for any of these companies to have a well-aligned format, and that is what we see. MiF basically put a stamp on their outdated curriculum saying it is aligned, and Envision attempted to begin the work to meet the needs of the standards. But our contract with EDM is up, thankfully–I as well as others I’m sure have been taking the freedom to string together our own curriculum for years and we need something new.

I wish we could have held out another year somehow if all teachers were taking said freedoms.

I am prepared to be shocked if Seattle’s test scores improve with MiF though. Test scores will improve with better teaching and parent involvement in their child’s education, not from a drill-based curriculum.

So, to clarify, I don’t think any of us Frustrateds out there are complaining about a curriculum that takes students beyond standards because none do. We absolutely DO have a lot more to worry about than textbooks though; we have a lot of people in our communities around the country that make decisions about this important work without being educated about what students and teachers need in a successful learning environment. #askateacher

]]>Secondly, just because a small minority advocated for MiF, please do not disregard the opinions of teachers and principals. I highly respect my parents and know that they play a huge role in their child’s education but they should not be the reason behind this math adoption. Teachers should drive the decision. We are the one in the classroom that will be using this resource.

Yes, there are a lot of issues regarding CCSS but we are assessed and evaluated based on these standards. Whether you like or not, these are our standards. I don’t get how we can use a program that is NOT aligned to CCSS but we will be evaluated based on it. Yes, I have done my research and MiF is not aligned to CCSS.

As a teacher, I know that I will need to differentiate and modify curriculum to meet the needs of my students but can you at least give us a somewhat completed program rather!

I’m sorry but I will not serve on any committee in SPS every again. You have screwed us over too many times.

I hope the decision was made in the best interest of ALL students in SPS and not just the students in the north end.

]]>You do realize that standards are the MINIMUM that we are to give our students and not the ceiling, right? Are you seriously complaining because a curriculum goes beyond the minimum? Your students will not be ‘dinged’ for being ahead of the game. The “alignment” is there to make sure that the basics are covered. The problem with the district placing so much weight on the strictness of this alignment is that it failed to give educators the freedom and flexibility to accelerate or decelerate as needed for their individual classes. MiF teaches all that is in CCSS and if it takes our students further then all the more reason to rejoice. If your sentiment is what prevails among educators in our system then we have a lot more to worry about than a textbook… ]]>

Wow are you people misinformed. Neither of these curriculum is CCSS aligned fully. Mif is less than 50% aligned at the 4/5 grades. Envision is almost 80%. As someone who teaches to the standards because they are MANDATED by the district and our state, this is a problem. For example: In 5th grade Mif says we should be teaching RATIOS to our students. This is a Middle school standard. Day ONE of teaching fractions to fourth graders is adding and subtracting unlike denominators. This is a fifth grade standard. How is this considered good for kids? How is this rigor? You people need to get into a classroom and get REAL experience. Some of the many examples I personally have witnessed.

]]>Thank you for clarifying the “already using enVision” question.

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Personally, I don’t think that committees in SPS are doomed. Another way to look at this is… that a School Board goes against the district recommendation so infrequently that there must be an extraordinary issue with the process that makes them do so. Personally, I think this is where this one falls.

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evergreen, while I do believe that enVision was definitely more text heavy, I do not believe that it falls within the “reform math/constructivist” range. Perhaps WSDWG or Melissa Westbrook can state more definitively.

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Still a fantastic day for our kids! Hooray for real math! ]]>