kitchen table math, the sequel: Pearson's Claims of Success with Investigations are Put to Rest

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pearson's Claims of Success with Investigations are Put to Rest

The parents against "Investigations in Number, Data and Space" in Prince William County, Virginia, have been busy lately. Some of them put together a well written report refuting the "success stories" about Investigations touted by Pearson Publishing. The report has been posted on the Teach Math Right web site, and can be downloaded here.

Towards the end of the report in the section called "Success Stories" there are emails and records of phone conversations with people in the school districts that were touted by Pearson as having success with Investigations. They were fairly candid in their emails--perhaps they didn't know just how public this report was going to be. One of my favorites is this one:

Fairfield City School District, OH - Elementary Curriculum Coordinator:

"I did ask teachers to keep their thoughts to themselves and not express their dislike of the program to the parents. And that actually worked. I told them they could have the parent call me or they could say whatever they wanted about the program when we had our PDs [professional development]. I asked them to do their venting any way but [not] with the parents and the children. Another thing in our favor was that the school that did the pilot was one of our lower achieving schools, but their test scores went up significantly."
[Email of 2/9/09]

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!


SteveH said...

Unfortunately, many of the comments talked about issues of alignment with state standards. It would be nice if they talked about getting more kids into algebra in 8th grade.

What I still find very odd is that many K-8 schools work in their own world curriculum-wise. Slowly, expectations are filtering down from our high school (CMP is gone and we actually use the same algebra book as the high school!), but it's almost as if high schools don't want to tread on their academic turf.

Catherine Johnson said...

In my district the grade school is trickling up as opposed to the high school trickling down.

The elementary grades are now pure hands-on collaborative group projects & soon the high school will be, too.

Next year high school teachers will reconfigure their classrooms to have "learning stations."

Students with "visual learning preferences" (preferences! that leaves it wide open, doesn't it?) can hand in PowerPoints & collages.

$25K per pupil spending

and rising

Catherine Johnson said...

also videos

they can hand in videos as evidence of learning

Rudbeckia Hirta said...

I wouldn't mind getting a video turned in. If it were a video of the student standing at a board, working the problem, and explaining it.

Barry Garelick said...

Clarification about the report prepared by the Prince William County parents. The school board told the parents that Investigations was research proven. The research they were citing was a document called “Investigations in Number Data and Space: Evidence for Success”, which was prepared by Pearson Publishing. A very diligent parent called every
school district in that marketing brochure and most have dropped or are dropping MI. The rest are either heavily funded with large numbers of title 1 schools or very small school districts