\doc\web\99\13\hallmath.txt
This is great, I was looking for this part of the 2nd grade
textbook which was mentioned in the MathCorrect review.
Add in links to the review and completely cite the 2 LWSD
texts, and you can put it up on your page, I'll link to it, and
post it to seatte.politics and seattle.general. Please call up
Julie Goldsmith and tell you that you and I now think this is
absolutely stupid, and shows how qualified Julie is to do
her job.
From: "John Hall"
To:
Subject: Something I worked up when someone asked for a comparison between old, new, and new-new math
Date sent: Wed, 1 Sep 1999 22:19:56 -0700
> Second Grade.
>
> Old Math:
>
>
> 29
>
> +12
>
> ---
>
> The answer is 41, and the student will be guided in adding (9 + 2) to get
> 11, writing the '1' down and carrying the other '1' (which is to say 10 as
> Mr. Lehrer would say). Then 1 + 2 + 1 = 4 and the answer is 41.
>
> When this topic is introduced, there may be extra help like a 'box' over the
> '2' in 29 to help the student practice. Eventually, the students will be
> expected to do about 1 of these problems every 3 seconds or so with a very
> high (95% target) accuracy.
>
> In addition, a good second grade curriculum will also have the children
> checking the answer 41 by subtracting 12 and getting 29. This drives home
> the fact that addition and subtraction are related.
>
> New Math:
>
> Exactly like the old math at this point, except they will eventually get
> around to making you do it in a different base in the later grades. For some
> reason those math books liked base 12 and had cute symbols for the extra two
> digits that I no longer remember. If you are a programmer old enough to have
> taken IBM assembly language you were probably forced to go through base 16
> math for a few weeks to drill it into you.
>
> New-New Math:
>
> The New-New mathematics teachers guide (there is no student textbook, the
> teacher guide takes up a foot and ahalf of shelf space) in LWSD spends an
> entire lesson on this particular problem. (In the older methods it might
> have been one of a few examples, but then you would have problems to work
> on. Not so now. It is the ONLY problem in the lesson. I looked that lesson
> up specifically just to check.)
>
> The teachers guide contains explicit instructions that children who have
> somehow managed to learn how to do the problem properly be discouraged from
> doing so. Unless, of course, they can come up with a suitably advanced
> explanation which explains the commutative properties of addition and the
> significance of base 10 place notation in using this 'shortcut'.
>
> The students are encouraged to find many possible solutions to the problem.
> For example:
>
> (29 + 12) = 20 + 9 + 10 + 2 = 20 + 10 + 9 + 2 = 30 + 11 = 41
>
> The students are also encouraged to whip out their handy '100' chart. On
> this chart (numbers 1 to 100 in rows of 10) they can count from 12 29 places
> (to find 41) or count from 29 12 places (to find 41).
>
> At no point are the children drilled to build speed.
>
> The LWSD still uses an older textbook as well, but the Math director at
> Juanita Elementary school was very clear in saying that the New-New math was
> the way they were going.
>
>
I've attached John's research into "Investigations" refusing to
teach how to regroup at the end of this. To Julie Goldsmith, it
appears you and the entire school board and every teacher has
approved a math text that is not even compliant with your own
guidelines!
Well John, you picked a great source. I'll be working with John to get
us up to speed on this stuff, and yes, we are way behind the curve
compared to California. Wayne was my first contributor, and he also
contributed to Martha Tuchmann's run in CA last year. Hopefully we can work together to awake the masses to this mass idiocy.
John appears to be only the 2nd person in Lake Washington school
district to suspect something is amiss with this math program.
BTW, I just check the Lake Washington parent's curriculum guide, and guess what, it _does_ specify that students in grade 2 must
be taught "regrouping" which is carry and borrow, this is
precisely what "Investigations" bends over backward to not teach,
or discourage.
Student Profile
Curriculum Framework
Parent Handbook 1998-1999
p. 55 Level One Year Three (grade 2, yes, it's confusing):
######################
Develop/compare strategies to solve addition/ subtraction problems
including regrouping
######################
This does appear to encourage wasting time in inventing
inefficient ways to add and subtract, but it clear does _not_
ban the teaching of borrowing and carrying.
http://www.k12.wa.us/reform/ealr/standards/math.html
The state EALR standards, unfortunately are so worthless they
do _not_ specify whether regrouping should even be taught
4th grade computation:
*show understanding of whole
number operations (+, -, x , )
using blocks, sticks, beans, etc.
*add, subtract, multiply, and
divide whole numbers
The 4th grade WASL test expects students to
be able to explain sampling, compare probabilities
involving unlike fractions, sort blocks according to
pairs of inequalities, etc, but it does not expect
them to know how to carry or borrow!
Date sent: Sun, 05 Sep 1999 17:12:42 -0700
To: "John Hall"
From: Wayne Bishop
Subject: Re: Mr. Bishop ...
Copies to: Don Crawford , Arthur Hu
> At 01:14 PM 9/5/1999 -0700, John Hall wrote:
> >
> >
> > I am in Washington State. My local school district has adopted the Dale
> > Seymour series of "math" curriculum. It is new this year. In K-5 they do
> > have another math book (Scott Foresman) but in talking to the people in the
> > district it is clear that the "Investigations" materials is they way they are
> > heading.
>
>
> For once, Washington would do well to follow California's lead. We rejected
> all of the fuzzy stuff as of June 10. There's still plenty of it in the
> schools, tho.
>
> >
> > Yet I'm looking at materials for K-5 along with Seymour's Connected
> > mathematics and it makes my blood boil.
>
>
> That's the right attitude. It cannot work. Good teachers supplement like
> crazy, bless their souls, but that also masks the poor performance that would
> have been. It's the same issue as Whole Language reading. All rhetoric of
> "higher order thinking skills" along with an often successful campaign to get
> rid of standardized testing. On controlled studies with reliable instruments
> they lose but they won't go head to head because they know what the results
> would be but dismiss the significance.
>
> >
> > How could they do this to these kids? Or, is my own talent on the subject
> > blinding me to the need for a different approach for other kids?
>
>
> It's not your talent/background; it's reality. But it takes people with that
> background to point out the Emperor's new clothes. It was when it hit Palo
> Alto and La Jolla that the stuff hit the fan. Have you stumbled onto the
> Mathematically Correct website yet?
> http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com
>
> >
> > I am currently bending over backwards trying to find some redeeming value in
> > the curriculums. I have found evidence of their failure, I have never found
> > evidence of their success. Is there, anywhere, evidence of their success?
>
>
> Evidence, no. Inflated rhetoric? Sure. The NSF and the AAAS push the stuff
> which is really ironic given what they should be doing.
>
>
> >
> > If not, I have to ask myself: Is this an issue worth fighting over?
>
>
> Absolutely. Put me down for $200 on your behalf.
>
> >
> > (My own daughter will be going to private school). I had not planned to
> > spend any money in my campaign, just a voter statement and a web page
> > (www.johnhall.net). If it is worth fighting
> over, is
> > there any professionals at the University of Washington that might be willing
> > to help?
>
>
> I've copied a couple of people in Washington who might know and it is well
> worth fighting for. California has made dramatic progress in the last couple
> of years. As of June 10, my daughter's math curriculum (she's in a private
> school, too, Pasadena public is just awful), is available for use in
> California. Five years ago it was rated the absolute lowest possible (by the
> fanatics doing the rating). That's how far we've come just by getting active,
> asking for data, challenging unsupported claims of success, etc. One of the
> biggies is sticking with known exams for broad screen assessment, ITBS, CTBS,
> etc. California uses SAT-9, not the best but *much* better that than the "new
> generation of testing" such as California's CLAS that went belly-up in 1994.
> We came to this early but now have good press, state school board, legislature,
> and governor's office. The Department of Education is in exactly the wrong
> place but we only missed by a few points, replacing the head with one of us and
> she knows it, which has been helpful. So little losses among great successes.
> We just have to hang on a few more years and it looks like we'll probably be
> able to. Enough good numbers and positive reports from teachers and we can
> retire in peace.
>
> Wayne.
>
From: "John Hall"
To: , "Wayne Bishop"
Copies to: "Don Crawford" ,
Subject: RE: "Investigations" is NOT compliant with District Math Framework
Date sent: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 16:30:24 -0700
The school district does have another textbook available (Scott Foresman),
and this book does teach students how to add properly. Therefore, you can't
make a statement that the curriculum is out of compliance with the
district's own guidelines.
Ms. Goldsmith has scheduled a meeting with me and she is bringing some of
the people who are training the teachers on the math curriculum. I intend
to listen to them. I want to give Ms. Goldsmith every opportunity to
convince me this is the right thing to do. As I pointed out to Dr. Wayne, I
have been bending over backwards to find some evidence that this curriculum
is effective *in teaching mathematics*.
One of the biggest problems in the long run may be that the LWSD has kept
both texts. By having them both, the water is muddied. A complaint about
the treatment of carrying in "Investigations" can be met with a reference
from Foresman. If "Investigations" is as claimed, then mixing the
curriculums will limit both damage and accountability. Without
accountability, it can always be claimed that it was the mix, not the
"Investigations" ingredient, that was the problem. Especially since the mix
will vary widely by classroom.
I learned an important lesson once. The most critical issue is often not
what policy is chosen but *how will we know a mistake has been made*? And
will that information be *effective* information that causes a change in
policy? Mixing the texts seems to short circuit any type of feedback. I
want to know if the district even considered the issue. Falsifiability is a
key difference between science and dogma.
From: "John Hall"
To: , "Wayne Bishop"
Copies to: "Don Crawford"
Subject: RE: "Investigations" is NOT compliant with District Math Framework
Date sent: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 16:29:12 -0700
Arthur, you made a mistake. This is politics now, not a wide open
intellectual fencing match on the internet.
It was a mistake to warn Ms. Goldsmith. I have every indication that her
mind is completely closed. If we want this changed, we are going to have to
run the tank right over her.
In the mean time I didn't want it implied that I had made a final decision.
I wanted Ms. Goldsmith to give me as much information as I could get.
The next followup will include Ms. Goldsmith. Please consider that it might
not be appropriate to share our thoughts on this with her in this manner. I
don't want my email copied to her. I think it is counter-productive.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: arthur hu [mailto:arthurhu@halcyon.com]