Weekly Math Updates
May 9, 2007
Here's an interesting quote for the week:
I had a great conversation this week with Orem's Mayor Washburn. After the fiasco of Mr. Henshaw's comments labelling parents as extremists, Orem's leadership really needed to hear a "Mr. Harvey-esque" "rest of the story". He will now be much more cautious at accepting statements from the district at face value. The most troubling thing he told me though was that he'd only received 3-4 emails regarding splitting off from ASD. I neglected to ask if that was 3-4 emails from this recent event or from last year when I know many of you were in full break-away mode. I know many of you are tired of this fight (as am I), but perseverance is the key to success.
Connected and Interactive Math
I received an email from a parent last week who was responding to the horrible programs still in use in the upper half of grades, Connected and Interactive math. Those programs need replaced as well as Investigations did and we need to start pressuring folks to do that, but at the same time with new state standards coming out for those grades, we should have additional help to use to get rid of them. However, as we saw with the Saxon issue, the district isn't above a little "slight of hand" in squashing a good program and advancing their own agenda. That issue isn't over for the district yet and they will be held accountable for it.
At this moment the very best thing you can do to help is to call up the middle school principal where your child goes or will eventually go and ask the principal if Connected Math has been removed from the school the same way Investigations has been removed from elementaries. If he/she says no, ask why not? Do the same for high schools asking about Interactive math's demise. Please at least make sure your kids aren't in any class that uses those curricula. If you've never taken the time to understand those programs and what's wrong with them, you just have to read this page and follow the links to get an understanding of the situation. The biggest issue with them is the utter lack of content.
"They Have Overcome"
Results speak for themselves, but it is driven by people committed to excellence. That's the rare quality in a system without competition. It exists, but it isn't driven to the top in the same way competitive businesses and shareholder value drive excellence in the corporate world. The excuses we hear about why certain kids aren't performing at the level of other children just don't stack up when held to the candle of Nancy Ichinaga's attitude and performance.
Beam It Down From the Web, Scotty (NY Times)
Identify the Traits That Define a 'No Excuses' School by Johathan Butcher and Krista Kafer
Last week I bought the new Fablehaven book and finished it up in a few days. It's rare I go through a book that fast but it's a good one. If you haven't read Fablehaven, they're every bit as good as Harry Potter, though not as long which makes them less attractive if you're into the whole "DANG it's less than 4,000 pages " thing. I don't plan on doing many book reviews here but I've really enjoyed the Harry Potter, Eragon, Fablehaven, and Levin Thumps series'. I'm guessing there's probably a person or two on this list that hasn't read Harry Potter (though for whatever reason I can't imagine). I hadn't read Eragon till last year (disappointed at so many changes in the movie) and then I read Eldest (sequel) and it was a much better book and really leaves you wondering what will happen in the last book (due hopefully this year). Levin Thumps is also awaiting book three and the first two were very unique. Imagine a world where your dream state is a real world that you can only get to by freak accident like stepping on a crack when it's 58 degrees out and there's a full moon :). Anyway, if you're looking for a good book to read, I've enjoyed all of these a lot. Here's links if you want any:
Till next week,
|Copyright 2005-06, All Rights Reserved|