kitchen table math, the sequel: welcome to the Grand Canyon

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

welcome to the Grand Canyon

The Palo Alto textbook selection committee has voted for Everyday Math.
Before the secret ballot was taken, committee members summarized the pros and cons of the two finalists and also tried to address parent complaints against Everyday Mathematics that were raised in a community meeting last week.

Positives of Everyday Mathematics included depth, quality of conceptual lessons, a high-quality teachers' manual and strong electronic resources. Concerns included a plethora of components, occasional assumptions that students have mastered concepts they might not have mastered and a problematic transition from fifth grade to what students will need for middle-school math.

"There's a huge gap between what they get in fifth grade and what they need is sixth grade," one fifth-grade teacher said. "The hole is as huge as the Grand Canyon. So we're going to have to address that problem as a district."

This is the kind of thing that makes me think parents need the right to sue their school districts.

It will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds. Assuming the quotations in the article are correct, the superintendent does not appear to be enthusiastic about the committee's recommendation, which means the board will receive mixed signals. If I were a parent in the district I would, at a minimum, urge the board to delay its decision until the district has a plan in place to remediate Everyday Math's deficiency where the transition to sixth grade math is concerned.

Are people familiar with enVisions?

ignoring parents in Palo Alto
welcome to the Grand Canyon
a teacher-mom on Everyday Math
the plot thickens
Steven H on Everyday Math in Palo Alto

where parents get their information
"reality" in Palo Alto

Parents frustrated over math texts
Teacher committee recommends new math text
Ed Week on the ed wars

interview with my cousin re: her experience with EM


Anonymous said...

This site looks pretty useful for getting an idea about enVision math:

-Mark Roulo

Catherine Johnson said...


can't get the site to work

Catherine Johnson said...

the fact that the curriculum is called enVisions implies to me it's going to be heavily visual & web-based...

Barry Garelick said...

The fact that they rejected Singapore because it doesn't cater to English Language Learners nor seem to serve the needs of the students should tell you all you need to know about any program that made it to a final vote even if it lost.

Barry Garelick said...

I meant to indicate it's the school board that thinks it doesn't cater to ELL's nor serve student needs.

In case that wasn't clear.

Liz Ditz said...

One parent suggested the district begin monitoring the use of outside tutoring to supplement the math program, which he said is widespread.

"There's a lot of tutoring going on and it's not apparent to me that the school is paying attention to it," he said. "I'd like to know that the district is monitoring the use of tutors" and how much time parents are spending working on math with their children.