Weekly Math Updates
May 23, 2007
Math Standards News
Last week the education subcommittee had their meeting to review where the state math standards are at. If you'd like to listen to the entire proceedings it's online and lasts about 45 minutes. If you'd rather see the highlights, I typed out as fast as I could (with frequent pauses) so you could read it if you'd like. I was just going to type highlights and got to transcribing the thing toward the latter half. It's good stuff. Senator Howard Stephenson said that morning (Wed) they had a meeting to discuss getting teacher's salaries up 80% for math and science by this time next year and I assume up significantly for others as well. That puts top math and science teachers in the $80-100,000 salary range, and the best news is they think they can do it with current funding. I honestly don't know what's in the wings that would allow them to do that, but I'm hoping it's drastically reducing district bureaucracy which is one thing I've discussed with legislators to pass money on to teachers. Here's a link to the audio and the transcript:
Audio--listen to segment 5 (State Legislature website)
There is some additional huge news in this document. Quick recall of basic math facts is now in the state core where it was ACKNOWLEDGED AS ABSENT before. Utah's new standards are not world class but if they take a comprehensive approach to content training for teachers (not just pedagogy), better end of level testing with instant feedback for students, better pay to attract better teachers and the new standards, we are taking a huge leap forward from where we were. However, after sharing my views with several legislators, Senator Howard Stephenson took up the fight for us. Here's his letter which was sent to Patti Harrington, the state superintendent:
I'll keep you posted when I hear anything.
In God We Trust Site
As you know from my email Monday, I just launched InGodWeTrustPosters.com. This site will take orders from schools anywhere in the country that want a set of the posters, but I especially hope to get the posters into all the classrooms in Utah. I have to share something funny with you when I did this. I use GoDaddy as my registrar, and like many of the big registrars when you choose a name to purchase a domain for, they make suggestions about other names you might consider purchasing similar to the one you want, in case it sparks extra sales for them or perhaps even generates a better name for you. Here's a couple that came up when I put in "InGodWeTrustPosters".
So those are up for sale if any of you feel so inclined. :)
Feel free to visit the site and share it with all your friends. ASD teachers will all get a copy of the poster.
The Salt Lake Tribune is also running a story on the posters very soon. Please help me get these distributed quickly. My wife is going to kill me if these boxes sit in our living room for the next 3 months. :)
Simpsons on Math
I'd heard about this before but never seen it. It's hilarious.
Hedge fund guru: Math education critical
Education: Why They Are the Best (How we developed our own unique method for ranking America's top school)
In this article by Jay Matthews he explains how he developed an index to rate successful schools that would not try to ignore irrelevant factors such as socio-economics (I used to think this was relevant but now it's only relevant to me if the teachers and students believe it's relevant). Give the article a read. It also lists the top 1200 schools in America. Where is Utah's first appearance? #158, then 205, 285, and 396. We have 4 schools in the top 500 schools in America. Now I realize this is just one person's analysis but it is an interesting read.
Till next week,
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