## Monthly archives for November, 2012

# Understanding the Math Changes in Fai...

If The Current Change in Math Curriculum Does Not Impact You This Year…Wait…It Will Next Year!
This year, the Fairfield School District has decided to purchase and utilize textbooks and a curriculum from an outside source, College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM). They are utilizing the State’s shift to the Common Core Curriculum Standards as a [...]

# A statistician’s view of constructivi...

I’ve had 4 years of undergraduate math courses, two years of graduate math courses, and I have taught graduate-level math courses. I had never seen the “lattice” method, the Egyptian method, or any of these other alternative algorithms until last year when I looked at Everyday Math homework. Students don’t need them, and those met [...]

# 2+2=5 Fuzzy Math Invades Wisconsin Sc...

What is it about this new approach to teaching math that so concerned these parents? The “new-new” math classroom is based on the notion that children understand and learn only those concepts that they “construct” or discover on their own. The teacher is discouraged from providing information or imparting knowledge, an [...]

# U.S lag in science, math a disaster i...

Almost everyone, from educators to government officials to industry experts, laments the lackluster abilities and performance of our nations’ students in science, technology, engineering and math (know as STEM education).Two indicators are particularly worrisome, especially as this country experiences greater global competition and high [...]

# The Perils and Promises of Discovery ...

Unfortunately, research doesn’t support the superiority of discovery learning over direct instruction, as cognitive psychologist and researcher Richard Mayer pointed out in 2004.1 More recently, a 2011 meta-analysis of 580 comparisons between discovery learning and direct instruction found that direct instruction is superior to discove [...]

# In defense of direct instruction: Con...

Many educators believe children should learn math by struggling and failing, inventing their own methods, drawing pictures and boxes, counting on fingers, play-acting, continually working in groups, and asking several classmates for help before asking the teacher. This process of learning is called constructivism (also known as “discovery” or [...]

# You Tube of Michael DeBell’s co...

BOE member, DeBell’s comment on Discovering Series, a constructivist math program. This is the third time he has gone through an math curriculum adoption as BOE member. Michael DeBell, Seattle School Board President, took the time to research the math curriculum recommendations in his district. He showed a great example of informed o [...]

# Haverford HS Students, Parents Debate...

Parents and students who were opposed to CPM said they do not think the program is effective because CPM’s group learning approach (in which students in the classroom work in groups to solve math problems) does not meet all students’ learning styles. Parents opposed to the program also said they do not think CPM has raised standardized test s [...]

# Lower Merion Fifth Graders Prepare fo...

A major CPM shortcoming is that it favors children with strong language skills. Making math all about words must be demoralizing for a lot of boys in particular who might typically excel in math but not language arts. And for the children who learn best in a structured environment, like mine, forget it. CPM is a Berkeley invention that I imag [...]

# Fairfield SAT Scores 2012 Drop

Fairfield SAT scores 2012 –
A school administrator points to the larger number of test takers as the reason for a sharp drop in the 2012 average Scholastic Aptitude Test scores at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. Margaret Boice, director of secondary education, said, noting that 317 Ludlowe students took the SAT this year, compared to 30 [...]

# Singapore Math arriving in Bridgeport...

The new books include a literacy series called “Journeys,” a math series that focuses on Singapore Math, a teaching method in sync with the proposed Common Core State Standards being developed in the state and nationwide.
Read more: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/New-books-arriving-in-Bridgeport-schools-3657645.php#ixzz2CyFG [...]

# Vallas calls for creating new high sc...

Vallas, regarded as a prominent public education reformer, was hired by the state-appointed school district in January. His task was to not only balance the budget but to help the district.
The plan would cut central office staff by one-third and reduce the number of school aides — there are more than 400 in the district. To compensate, [...]

# National education reformer to lead B...

Vallas replaces John Ramos, whose contract was terminated by the board. Vallas will bring with him Sandy Kase a former supervising superintendent at Chancellor’s District in New York City. She will take over the slot held by Associate Superintendent Robert Henry, whose retirement was announced this month.
Vallas’ tenure is expect [...]

# American Teens Trail Global Peers in ...

The test, called the Program for International Student Assessment, has been given every three years since 2000 to 15-year-old students. Last year, when the test was administered, 60 countries participated. The test is designed to assess how prepared teenagers are in three key categories—mathematics, science and reading—versus their peers in [...]

# As Math Skills Slip, U.S. Schools See...

The Singapore method continues to attract fans. Inspired by North Middlesex, 20 schools in 12 different districts across Massachusetts are now running Singapore pilot programs. North Middlesex is a farming and commuter district that’s an hour’s drive from Boston.
North Middlesex’s program got rolling soon after the educatio [...]

# Singapore Math – A Model Method...

Singapore’s method is highly visual and explores fewer topics, but in greater depth.
By Michael Alison Chandler http://voices.washingtonpost.com/x-equals-why/2009/04/singapore_a_model_for_math.html

# Singapore Math – definition fro...

The hallmark of the curriculum is the careful guidance of students, done in a child-friendly pictorial language, not only to technical mastery, but to complete understanding of all the “whys” (see an example). This differs from typical U.S. curricula, which either aim for dogmatic memorization of “rules,” or expect stu [...]

# Arthur Levine: The Suburban Education...

The U.S. economy could be $1 trillion a year stronger if Americans only performed at Canada’s level in math.
The problem America faces, then, is that its urban school districts perform inadequately compared with their suburban counterparts, and its suburban districts generally perform inadequately compared with their international count [...]

# Letter: Why We Need a Breakdown of Fa...

Summary: Fairfield’s annual operating budget should provide a breakdown of the cost of each service so that the people and their elected town representatives can make informed decisions about which services they want and can afford from their government. The budget should also quantify the effect of state and federal laws that require the t [...]

# BallPoint Wren Blog – CPM Math ...

Opinion Section contains a middle school student’s description of CPM Math – posted Sept 2012. Her frustration is heard loud and clear… She explains that she is responsible for teaching others in her group who do not understand the math task. In addition, she is not permitted to advance once she has figured out the problem, bec [...]

# Controversy over Mathematics in Penfi...

Since early 2005 a parent group in Penfield (a suburb of Rochester), New York, has been fighting for quality mathematics programs in their public schools. Curricula in the Penfield schools are among the worst of the NCTM-inspired “fuzzy” mathematics programs for their respective grades: (TERC) Investigations in Number, Data, and [...]

# Court ruled that the Seattle BOE made...

In the Superior Court of the State of Washington, Honorable Julie Spector ruled that the board’s decision to use the Discovering series was arbitrary and capricious. She ordered the board to reconsider the matter. Seattle’s so-called “Discovery” math curriculum doesn’t add up for a Judge Spector, who rejected the style of instruction and or [...]

# Controversial math textbooks adopted ...

The Discovery series textbook focuses on helping students uncover math concepts on their own instead of laying out rules for memorization. But state math experts disagree about the effectiveness of the Discovering series. Board President Michael DeBell previously said he was not satisfied with the Discovering textbooks because they can’ [...]

# ‘Innovative’ Math, but Ca...

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/09/education/08education.html?pagewanted=all
This community of 35,000 battled with the nationwide math wars, which have flared from California to Pittsburgh to the former District 2 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, pitting progressives against traditionalists. Penfield School District began supplementing the [...]

# Fairfield Citizen: Letter: Math curri...

The new math curriculum is not receiving rave reviews. It has not been successful in California and is not being used elsewhere in Connecticut. So how and why was this curriculum chosen? What makes the administration think it will be successful in Fairfield? The new demands on our curriculum to meet the guidelines of common-core standards are [...]

# Socially Correct, But a Practical Dis...

http://www.chelationtherapyonline.com/anatomy/p128.htm
Whole-math advocates say their methods will bring American math achievement up to world-class levels. But in fact kids in Japan, usually among the top performers on international assessments, do plenty of memorization and drill. Only after they have mastered basic skills are they allowed [...]

# What Happened to Mathematics Educatio...

CPM: (College Preparatory Mathematics) A variety of Whole
Math to be given instead of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.
http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/1997/dec97/math_ed.html
This is an introduction to issues that have been raised concerning changes to mathematics education in the public schools in San Diego and other areas of Californ [...]

# Whole Math in Escondido

http://mathematicallycorrect.com/twocity.htm#escondido
On Jan. 20, 1998, the Escondido Union High School District (North eastern San Diego County, CA) board made some major changes in district mathematics programs. These changes were based largely on examination of the performance of students in the different programs on various nationally no [...]

# Do you live in a new-new math city?

http://mathematicallycorrect.com/citylist.htm
Towns in California are trying to reinstitute traditional math courses. Some towns that have used College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) : Escondido, Hemet, Livermore, Ridgecrest, Visalia… Review the list of other towns in CA and states using “Fuzzy” Math… will you be next?

# Reviews of CPM Math: College Preparat...

http://www.nychold.com/cpm.html
Read Reviews of CPM Math :The CPM curriculum has a middle school and a high school component. Research the critical reviews and commentaries of CPM. Additional links can be found in this review.

# Students Against “Fuzzy” Math Start a...

Excerpts from students who are against Constructivist approach to teaching math. SAFM is a small “grass-roots” action organization of students (and parents) opposed to the use of “Fuzzy” math curriculum in America’s public schools. Students report … study of College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), a “fuzz [...]

# CPM: Not Prepared for Pre-Calculus an...

CPM inadequately prepares students for higher math courses, such as Pre-Calculus, and Calculus. The program falls short in its organization of material, ability to promote individual thinking, and test taking methodology. The problem with the CPM program is not evident until CPM students enter the traditional Pre-Calculus level. For example [...]

# Content Review of CPM Mathematics

A content review of CPM Mathematics. Review is provided by renowned Professor Wayne Bishop at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences California State University, LA. With regard to mathematics content, CPM does not sufficiently address the content standards and applicable evaluation criteria to be recommended for adoption. [...]

# CPM and IMP Math Curriculum at Berkel...

View complaints and concerns about why CPM is not working for students in Berkeley High. The CPM/IMP (College Preparatory Mathematics/ Interactive Mathematics Program)approach is not for all. Whether it will work well for any given child depends very much on his/her learning style.
http://parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/schools/BHS/math_c [...]

# A Brief History of American K-12 Math...

This article provides history on the American Mathematics Education from 1920 to the end of the 20th century. The education wars of the past century focus on the struggles between concentrated content and pedagogy. Content is framed as the answer to the question of what to teach, whereas pedagogy is the answer to the question of how to teach. [...]

# If The Current Change in Math Curricu...

This year, the Fairfield School District has decided to purchase and utilize textbooks and a curriculum from an outside source, College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM). They are utilizing the State’s shift to the Common Core Curriculum Standards as an impetus for this change. Curriculum Leaders from other Connecticut districts, such as Westpo [...]

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