Weekly Math Updates

November 22, 2006


  • Happy Thanksgiving
  • Another BIG Thank You
  • How Fast Will Things Happen?
  • Parent Email
  • Media Articles
  • Weekly Comic / Poll

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you enjoy your holiday, this will be a shorter update though with a special request. To get to your weekly comic, I need you to take a quick survey below. That's about the only carrot I have to dangle in front of you so I hope it works.

Another BIG Thank You

Last week in my list of thank you's, I neglected to look back far enough during my euphoric moment and I really want to thank Doug and Shannon Cannon and those other pioneers that started this fight before me. We didn't know anything about each other till I'd been going strong for a few months and once we connected it was obvious they had laid significant groundwork to help our fight succeed. As in anything, some plant, some water, and some harvest but all that participate have the thanks of those that eat the bread.

Well, and this never could have happened without my family's support. I owe them everything and they sacrificed a lot for this to happen.

How Fast Will Things Happen?

I've had a couple of questions and comments regarding the victory.  The news I've heard regarding the "when" of these things is that the standards need to be done by Spring 2007. They want it ready for professional development in summer 2007. It will be implemented Fall 2007 and the new assessment tests need to be in place for Spring 2008. This is phenomenal. Everything will change.

Parent Email

Here's an email I got from a parent this week. Mountain Ridge does have traditional teachers, but I have heard some counselors at the school don't cooperate very well to move kids around. Don't give up. Ask to speak to the math teachers and find out who teaches Glencoe and other traditional math coursework. There are teachers at each grade level at M.R. that don't find Connected Math suitable for college preparation.

I didn't hear back from the counselor at Mtn. Ridge at all on Friday so
I took a little trip to Salem. I purchased Saxon's Alegbra 1 and 2
programs for my 7th and 9th graders. My 6th grader will work on the
Algebra 1 book with her brother. I also purchased a Singapore set of 4
books for my 3rd grader. We are so excited. All of the kids spent the
better part of Friday afternoon with their noses in those books. They
were drinking it all up and having SO much fun. I wish the math
educators could see the difference in how these books made so much
sense to my kids. I also wish they could hear them compare and contrast
the different programs.

I was just at the Jr. High and ran into the counselor who apologized
for not being able to contact me on Friday. She said they only have
connected math at Mtn. Ridge. She believed Mr. Woolley is the only one
who teaches a combination program. He only teaches pre-algebra and my
kids all have tested straight into Algebra 1 in 7th grade. There seems
to be no other choice at the school until 9th grade where they can do
their math online instead. The high school online program doesn't count
for 7th or 8th grade. I should have found out more about that option
but I was thinking at that moment I have my home programs. I really
wish they could get a good math education during their school hours
without us re-teaching at home but we will do what we have to do. I am
still hesitant to pull them out for dual enrollment. I think I may have
to go attend some classes just to prove to myself they would not be
missing anything. My 9th grader has been in accelerated math since 5th
grade. My husband does not think he is capable of doing simple Algebra
1 problems. He is half-way through Algebra 2! He has always been at the
top of his classes and even acted as a sort of TA in Geometry to other
kids who didn't "get it" after the teacher got done explaining. I don't
like to sound so non-supportive but it appears public education is
really letting my kids down.

Media Articles

Here's a quick recap of the articles mentioning the victory last week including a great new piece from Sunday's Tribune as well as an editorial.

Math Wars Strike at Core, 'Investigations' lead to statewide review
Salt Lake Tribune
"Alpine district already had been discussing supplementing Investigations with another curriculum, but the State Office of Education no longer gives districts an option. Investigations will soon be taken off the list of approved 'primary' texts."

'Fuzzy' math Curriculum war should be lesson to educators
Salt Lake Tribune Editorial
"Parents deserve to win this dust-up that has raged for years, especially in the Alpine School District. They were determined to have their say about a teaching method that earned the nickname "fuzzy math" for its use of what parents call "silly" assignments and too little emphasis on memorizing multiplication tables and learning long division.

State leaders support math overhaul for schools
Deseret News
"But Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Patti Harrington said the state will take investigation off the list as a primary source."

Utah's 'fuzzy math' curriculum scrapped; legislators endorse plan to revamp state standards
Salt Lake Tribune

Weekly Comic

Archive: http://www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com

Till next week,

Oak Norton


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