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ONE math textbook for ALL

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 2:37 am


Check the BOE website. It seems they are going to choose ONE math textbook for ALL elementary schools. Welcome Mr. Superintendent.

from BOE website:

2008-2009 Elementary Math Plan Includes Public Input

The Ridgewood Public Schools has made a commitment to select an elementary mathematics textbook or program for use in all schools, and to plan a professional development and implementation rollout to begin in 2009-2010. To see a summary of the work plan, click on the link below. The Math Planning Team, which is the decision-making body for this initiative, wants your input as part of the process. An Elementary Math Evening has been scheduled for Monday, October 27, from 7:30-9 p.m. in the third floor Board Room of the Ed Center, 49 Cottage Place. Click “more” for details….moreElementary Math Plan 2008-2009

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  1. Finally the BOE might show they really care about our children education and their future. I have high hopes and expectations. I also hope Mrs. Bostfordis open for more context and less useless “math” games. Please do not choose TERC!

  2. Botsford is still clueless. They said “textbook or program.”

    Still clueless.

  3. In the world of education, textbook and program are interchangeable. I am a teacher, and when my department is going to change their “program” they are talking about adopting a new textbook and hence, program. It included the textbook, workbook and any ancillary materials.

  4. 7:52 AM, the question is not whether the district will choose TERC/Investigations.

    Rather, the question will be whether the district continues to worship at the altar of constructivist instructional methods when it comes to math instructions at all levels, not only K-8, but also in the high school as the CMP rollout continues its upward march through the grade levels.

    The question then becomes whether the district makes a big show of jettisoning TERC/Investigations from Travell and Orchard, while at the same time standardizing all district grade schools on TERC/Investigations’ better dressed, but similarly content-denuded sibling, Everyday Mathematics, presently in use at Somerville and Ridge.

  5. I’m with you 7:52, I have high hopes, too. this is a good start! let’s keep an eye on them, tell them what we want, hold them to the plan and move ahead. one consistent textbook or “program” for all our schools is the right move.

  6. 10:46AM, would your enthusiasm tend to increase or decrease if, when the clouds begin to disappear, it appears that we will be standardizing on an updated version of what some call ‘traditional math’, or on a reform math program like Singapore math that avoids the wide spiraling approach that characterizes such curricula as TERC/Investigations (Travell, Orchard) and Everyday Math (Ridge, Somerville).

    What I’m getting at is, you shouldn’t be so naive as to underestimate the degree of resistance the district would invite if it attempted to dislodge Everyday Math from Ridge and Somerville. The parents at theses schools have (very unwisely, in my opinion) have come to regard Everyday Math as the perfect math curriculum.

  7. Hi my name is 11:10 AM.

    I am a BOE operative whose job description includes leaking BOE initiatives into the local media while positioning myself as a local resident or parent.

  8. This seems like a lot of wasted time and effort to standardize on Everyday Math and CMP2.

  9. 11:44 AM, 11:10 AM here.

    What’s your point?

    What’s the sense in avoiding considering the possibility that one-third of the parents in this district have been slumbering all this time, secure in the thought that at least their children attend a school that is superior to Travell, only to awake to the possibility that, not only will they be forced to undergo a change (uncomfortable enough), but also to give up what they consider to be a built-in enhancement to their home values?

    Do you really believe they will allow this to happen? I have half a mind that Somerville residents, once roused from their slumber, will fight any sort of change, even if they know in their hearts that Everyday Math is terrible, if only to ensure that Travell students continue to be saddled with TERC/Investigations. Such is their interest in maintaning what they consider to be east-side “bragging rights”.

    By the way, are you still convinced I’m neither a local resident, nor a district parent?

  10. 1:21 (aka 11:10)-

    I am convinced that you are an idiot.

    Fighting to keep a mediocre math program (E-D Math) in your school so that your child can be comparatively smarter than the cross-town kids while all the time ensuring that your kids are dumber than most of their peers when they get to college.

    How small-minded and petty.

    Arguing that keeping down your kids as long as you keep the cross-town kids further down will enhance your home values.

    Even if you were cold enough to step on your child’s future to enhance the value of your house, your calculations are wrong. People view the TOWN’s academic standings long before getting into the minutiae of neighborhoods when deciding where to spend their housing dollars. So by NOT elevating the entire town you have NOT succeeded in you heartless goal of crushing your child’s future to enhance your bottom line. Sure comparatively your house will be worth more than one across town, but the lowering of the towns standards will reduce the absolute price of all houses in the village.

    And if you think that Math Scores are the measure on which West-Side bragging rights are based, you are clearly not a resident.

    All of this shows me that you are either a total idiot OR are a BOE operative (or both), especially in light of the fact that the “east-side” bragging rights that you mention are actually “west-side” bragging rights and that no parent would refer to themselves as a “district parent” – that is BOE-Speak all the way.

    Go back to your BOE masters you idiot lapdog.

  11. to the teacher at 9:34 –

    don’t know if you’re a ridgewood teacher, but your comments hit at the heart of this matter.

    Incompetent teachers need a textbook to define their math program. Competent teacher are able to define a math program and then chose a textbook that is appropriate.

    Our district leaders have made it clear they think ridgewood teachers are incompetent. teachers were never asked to review these materials, they were forced to use them. Sgt. Schultz has come into our town and informed us that the problem (in her amateur eyes) is that our teachers need professional development that must be ongoing and long term. by way of comparison, i have yet to meet a parent in this district who needs help with arithmetic – except maybe the village charlie.

    this boils down to our teachers having the opportunity to grow.

    If our teacher are as stupid as our administration says – then grow some brains. If they are not so stupid then grow some balls.

  12. Use your head, 4:41 PM, and maybe you’d realize: we agree with each other about the idiocy of the self-defeating position I’ve articulated (for purposes of discussion only).

    The only question is whether I am correct that enough Ridgewood residents could persuaded to hold this position, or at least not actively undercut it, to make a difference as we decide on how to proceed with revising Ridgewood’s elementary school math instructional program.

    Ultimately, I believe that Assistant Superintendent in Charge of Curriculum Botsford is counting on there being a solid plurality of residents in favor of retaining Everyday Math, if for no other reason than for those residents to have the pleasure of obtaining validation for their (again, in my view, unwise) decision to put up with Everyday Math in their neighborhood grade school for lo these many years.

    Ms. Botsford would be thrilled to to leverage the current EM foothold into a district-wide rollout that dislodges traditional math programs from Hawes and Willard. The district would then make a big show of the fact that it is jettisoning TERC/Investigations from Travell and Orchard, all the while assiduously avoiding any discussion of the fact that what will replace it will be, more or less, just as bad (sort of like the difference between ice and snow).

    FWIW, I also happen to believe that Ms. Botsford would be just as happy to see the present process devolve into an internecine foodfight that results in no net change. She knows that time is on her side, and so long as at least four out of the six grade schools in the district remain committed to constructivist math curricula of one sort or another, she can continue to report proudly to her colleagues in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) that the Ridgewood district remains in the constructivist camp.

    Ms. Botsword is also well aware that any decision to walk away from constructivist math curricula in the grade schools would immediately draw into question the propriety of the district’s recent decision to invest in the logical next step contstructivist math food chain, which is Connected Mathematics or CMP. This equally worthless program has already devoured the middle schools, and is well on its way toward consuming Principal Lorenz’s high school math department.

    So Ms. Botsford’s professional attitude about the idea of abandoning constructivist teaching techniques in Ridgewood’s grade schools probably boils down to this: “Over My Dead Body.”

    I ask again, are you still convinced I’m neither a local resident, nor a district parent?

  13. 7:12 AM –

    A few points…

    1) I admire your discipline to remain professional and to not resort to name-calling (an activity for which I apologize and hold forth only the weak defense of passion and frustration with both the BOE and many of the parents).

    2) Regarding your statements here:

    “Ms. Botsford would be thrilled to to leverage the current EM foothold into a district-wide rollout that dislodges traditional math programs from Hawes and Willard. The district would then make a big show of the fact that it is jettisoning TERC/Investigations from Travell and Orchard, all the while assiduously avoiding any discussion of the fact that what will replace it will be, more or less, just as bad (sort of like the difference between ice and snow).

    FWIW, I also happen to believe that Ms. Botsford would be just as happy to see the present process devolve into an internecine foodfight that results in no net change. She knows that time is on her side, and so long as at least four out of the six grade schools in the district remain committed to constructivist math curricula of one sort or another, she can continue to report proudly to her colleagues in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) that the Ridgewood district remains in the constructivist camp.”

    I have expressed the exact sentiment approximately a year (or so) ago on this blog.
    I have long held the position that EM would be the “faux compromise” that was actually Regina’s goal (once she saw what a political headache TERC in Travell had become) and that tossing TERC would be the bone thrown to the “agitators”.
    Everyone could “declare victory” and go home, except that the only losers would be the children.

    This is the core strategy of Regina and the constructivists.

    I have also stated (as you do) that Regina is laughing at the parents since she has the luxury of (virtually) unlimited funds (which ironically are ours) and unlimited time. She is a constant, consistent force while the parents are an ever-changing group (who must go through all of the “phases” of awareness and action) as their children travel through the school system. And as you know, the retention rate of these parents is essentially nil as soon as their children move out of the “danger zone” (i.e. a given school with constructivist math). So the odds are stacked for Regina and she knows it.

    3) Don’t underestimate the true goals of the ASCD. It is a truly despicable and deceptive organization that I am sure employs many well intentioned, good teachers who unknowingly advance its true agenda.

    So to answer your question –
    I am mostly convinced that you are not a BOE operative, but I would not put it past Regina to take a respected “counter position” only to “see the light” and turn towards constructivist math at some time in the future (but the odds of this are just too unlikely and are the domain of the conspiracy theory nuts so I will concede that you are not a BOE operative).

    Whether you are a RW parent… also likely. Either that or you have a passion for mathematics, see Ridgewood as ground zero for taking a stand for quality mathematics and you have lots of time on your hands.

    What I DO know is that you are professional, articulate, committed to quality mathematics and are smart enough to focus on the important issues and not get sidelined into an unproductive shouting match.

    Which leaves only two questions:

    1) Are you married to me?

    2) What is the best way to proceed in getting parents to:
    a) realize that they are doing a disservice to their children by settling for inferior mathematics programs like Everyday Math, TERC and CMP and
    b) get motivated to the point that they will organize and mobilize to have the BOE change the poor mathematics programs that currently exist in Ridgewood schools and adopt a math curriculum that includes only quality mathematics programs going forward?

  14. 5:19 PM

    Thanks for the concessions. For the record, I am a Ridgewood resident, homeowner, and taxpayer. While I am about as far as you can get from being a BOE operative, I’m also not yet quite convinced we are doomed in Ridgewood to math incompetency (a lot will depend on the results of the present process and the leadership or lack thereof shown by Superintendent Fishbein). Finally, I am a district parent of multiple “learners”.

    In answer to your questions:

    1) I am reasonably certain that we are not married to each other.

    2) Working on the answer to this one (honest)!

    As far as the ASCD goes, I suspect they are jealous of the AERA, and wish they had someone of Bill Ayer’s stature to help advance their agenda. Who knows–perhaps they will take a shot at luring Osama Bin Ladin out of hiding to take a VP post.

    7:12 AM

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