1) We are pretty far into the process (as the email writer says, 2 years) and the administration may feel that to bring in new participants now might bog things down, require backtracking, etc. I can understand that. We need to keep moving forward, the community has waited long enough.
2) The Math Planning Team’s experts are also learned and experienced. One could argue that they may be more math-focused than Dr. Stotsky, as my quick read of her background shows an emphasis also on reading/language. But I’ll agree that she’s at least “as expert” as the others. (And BTW, the more I learn about the politics involved in the National Math Panel, the less I view its report as the 10 Commandments, nor its participants as the high priests of math…sorry, not sure why I veered into religious terminology!)
3) Dr. Stotsky should not be characterized as a somehow “more objective” observer. Like many mathematics experts, she is also a consultant to a textbook company (Sadler-Oxford Mathematics). I have no idea if that company’s programs are being considered in Ridgewood, but the point is, everyone has a point of view; seems to me there is no such thing as a truly objective expert.
4) Dr. Stotsky did not benignly “learn of” our internal math divisions but rather was actively recruited by a parent with an agenda and admitted desire to undermine the administration. It would not surprise me if District personnel were at least suspect of the motivations. (This is my guess; no one said this to me.)
5) There has been no direct communication between Dr. Stotsky and the District administration. She did not approach, write, call or email the District.
6) The misinformation email says there’s “no end in sight” in our math effort. That’s not true. The Team is working according to a publicized schedule/plan and the end is certainly within sight.
7) The email mentions Dr. Stotsky’s involvement in Massachusetts’ high scores in the TIMMS test, and that Mass is “one of only two U.S. states to receive top scores in the international TIMMS tests, scores that rank them near the Asian countries that lead the TIMMS every year.” The truth of Massachusetts’ TIMMS performance should be taken with a grain of salt — there were only a few states who even participated in the tests as states. New Jersey did not. (It’s my understanding that any state or group of schools can pay to be scored as a group). The test mainly measures countries’ performance. Also, Massachusetts is not New Jersey (in a nutshell). (And as an aside, isn’t Massachusetts the home of TERC/Investigations? Aren’t they using it in a lot of schools there? What does that mean?. Kind of ironic, at the very least!)
You know what, Mr. Misinformation? This is not helping. (And by “this” I don’t mean talking about math. Talking and sharing are good. I welcome your comments. What’s not helpful is spreading misinformation and trying to fan the flames.) We have a plan. We have smart Ridgewood educators working on the plan. We have experts advising our educators. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Team comes up with and asking my questions at that time.