kitchen table math, the sequel: Has Anyone Shown the Way?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Has Anyone Shown the Way?

Does anyone know of any example of a town or district that has replaced Everyday Math (or TERC, etc.) with something like Singapore Math or Saxon Math? Are there any examples where the schools offer a choice? Are there any schools that went directly to somthing like Singapore Math? Are these full-inclusion schools? Is there any model for change?

It's hard to believe that any change could happen in our full-inclusion town. I've talked in the past how I came to the realization that when push comes to shove, schools will admit that Singapore Math is stronger in all ways, but the schools have to teach all kids. ("Everyday Math is better for our mix of students.") Since they won't separate or track, they pretend that differentiated instruction will solve the problem. It doesn't. They know it doesn't, but they don't have any acceptable solution. They continue to focus on small relative changes in test scores, point to the few students who do well, and don't dare ask their parents why that is the case.

Has any town tried to quantify how much help their best students get at home? I thought there was one town (in NJ?) that sent out a questionnaire about this. What happened there? Why should schools try to find out if there is a problem for which they have no solution? When our son was in a private school that used Everyday Math, it seemed like it was normal and good for families to provide whatever support that was needed. We paid a lot of money, but our home support was not less.

Is there any hope?


Tex said...

The Bridgewater-Raritan school district in New Jersey did that survey.

They replaced EveryDay Math with Harcourt Publishers Math. Click the links here to get some more info, including a PowerPoint presentation about the curriculum change.

Tex said...

Scarsdale switched to Singapore from Trailblazers last year and I know from speaking to some local folks that it has been a bumpy transition. However, Scarsdale is a unique school district and tutoring is a way of life. I still see plenty of Scarsdale kids at the local Kumon.

Steve said...

It took several years but Columbia, MO successfully dropped TERC.

Allison said...

I can't speak to the main issue of a district making the change, but anecdotally, to the issue of parents afterschooling, I can say this: every single northern Asian parent I know in my area here in St. Paul has their kids in Kumon (Chinese, Japanese, Korean). Now, my group is all the kids of engineers and the like, but basically, it appears to be a cultural expectation that American schools don't teach, that Kumon is necessary and expected, and that parents back up Kumon. I say this is cultural because the kids of the white engineer parents who are the coworkers of the northern Asian engineer parents aren't getting Kumon.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Needham, Mass provides a choice between "traditional" and "integrated" math. This may just be at the high school level. Here's all I can come up with for now.

SteveH said...

I forgot about Scarsdale. I'll bet that any place would have trouble changing. They can't put in a new curriculum and then just do the same things. They have to ensure that mastery gets done.

Thanks for the leads. I'll try to follow them up.

Katharine Beals said...

Some math, some garbage (and some Singapore Math):

Catherine Johnson said...

I believe my district is going to drop Math Trailblazers & adopt Singapore Math.

I stress: that's what I ***believe.***

I don't know.

IF so, we'll be adopting Singapore Math at the same time we adopt Fountas & Pinnell for reading instruction and assessment.

'Give' with one hand, take away with the other.

Catherine Johnson said...

This inspires me to get some of my material from the New Milford pilot posted. (I think Concerned Parent posted it a couple of years ago...)

lgm said...

My district has said it intends to adopt the Houghton Mifflin version of Singapore Math for classified students only.

Don't know if they did it yet, as the HM texts were only recently released.

Anonymous said...

The stupidest part is that the lowest students do best in Singapore--NOT EM. Only the smartest survive EM.