kitchen table math, the sequel: What Works Clearinghouse on CMP

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What Works Clearinghouse on CMP

CMP was found to have no discernible effects on math achievement.
Improvement index- 0 percentile points (average)

Read the full WWC report here.




20 comments:

LynnG said...

Is CMP one of those "integrated" curricula? It's high school level, right?

ConcernedCTParent said...

It's integrated curricula for middle school (grades 6-8).

ConcernedCTParent said...

I'm willing to bet it would fare similar to h.s. integrated curricula. I'm trying to track down some research out of North Carolina (I think) that compared integrated curricula to traditional h.s. sequence (alg1/geo/alg2). My understanding is that the integrated curricula fared very poorly.

Robin said...

The data you're looking for is in the National Math Panel Report.

It talks about how only 9 of the 15 necessary Alg 2 topics are even mentioned in IMP or CorePlus.

Be careful though because there's a new NSF financed high school curriculum-the CME Project. It's the ideas of integrated math but the familiar course names that reassure parents. Prentice Hall is publishing.

RMD said...

WWC could only find one study to support Reading Mastery as an intervention . . .

how much credibility does it have?

ConcernedCTParent said...

Exactly. However, when your district uses WWC to support it's choice of Everyday Math, they should die by the same sword. Our district also uses CMP. You can't have it both ways.

ConcernedCTParent said...

Robin- I'm going to comb through the report. I knew I'd read it somewhere. Should have figured. Thanks!

Robin said...

The in depth discussion of the topic is in the Report of the Task Group on Conceptual Knowledge and Skills.

This little publicized task group report is a treasure trove of info. Far more detail than what was in the final report and a scathing indictment of US algebra textbooks.

The detail on single subject vs integrated in the US is on pp 43-44.

The Task Group was:

Skip Fennell
Larry Faulkner
Liping Ma
Wilfried Schmid
Sandra Stotsky
Hung-Hsi Wu

A must read. Yes I keep hard copies handy for reference.

The briefer mention of the topic is on pp 22-23 of the Final Report.

SteveH said...

Our middle school finally (!) got rid of CMP for a more rigorous textbook series of pre-algebra and algebra. They all knew that CMP was not good enough, especially for those kids who wanted to get to geometry as freshmen in high school.

They all KNEW that, but it took them YEARS to make the change. They tried to add a little more real algebra, but that just did not work. It's the problem of the dreamworld of K-6 meeting the realities of high school. Unfortunately, they can still get away with this foolishness in other subjects.

SteveH said...

"However, when your district uses WWC to support it's choice of Everyday Math, they should die by the same sword."

Exactly my thought!

WWC was used at our schools to justify the use of Everyday Math even though there was not enough data. The comment on CMP falls into this same category. WWC may do well at eliminating research that does not meet minimum standards, but that leaves them with virtually nothing to make any judgment. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop them.

Besides, it was not too difficult for our schools to show that Everyday Math provided an improvement over MathLand. WWC needs to reference a world-wide, absolute standard.

SteveH said...

One high school in our area offers both the traditional math sequence and IMP - Interactive Math Program.

This is how they introduce the first class in the IMP sequence:


"This course is the beginning of an integrated and problem-centered curriculum program that offers students an alternative way to learn Algebra , Geometry, Trigonometry, and Precalculus. The job of the student is to experiment, investigate, ask questions, make and test conjectures, reflect, and communicate their ideas in written and oral formats. The student must be an active learner. The curriculum is delivered through thematic units. Students will learn probability by exploring strategies for a dice game called The Game of Pig. They learn basic algebra by demonstrating how situations, graphs, tables and equations are related. They learn statistics through a study of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic short story, The Pit and the Pendulum. They learn geometry and trigonometry by studying shadows."


They KNOW, and most parents KNOW that the traditional approach is the stronger of the two. I can't imagine that they would advise any student headed for a STEM degree in college to take the IMP series. They must not have many kids left in the fourth year of IMP. If so, won't they be surprised when they get to college.

SteveH said...

CME ... "It's the ideas of integrated math but the familiar course names that reassure parents."

The question is whether a high school starts to use this in place of the traditional curriculum. Pearson, the publisher, doesn't care. It has all types of math books. They will sell you anything you want.

I find it interesting that on the CME site, they call it:

"The Next Generation of NSF Funded Mathematics Programs"

NSF is bound and determined to push its agenda. Now, they want to hide their ideas behind the names of the traditional courses.

RMD said...

Let me translate . . .

"The job of the student is to experiment, investigate, ask questions, make and test conjectures, reflect,"

Translation: "The burden, once again will be placed on the students for learning, absolving educators of any responsibility for kids learning anything."

" and communicate their ideas in written and oral formats."

Translation: This will play into our "21st century skills" theme and make our kids wonderful communicators of fluff and nothingness.

"The student must be an active learner. "

Translation: If your child doesn't get it, it's not our fault.

"The curriculum is delivered through thematic units."

Translation: "We'll make sure your children don't have time to master any particular subject. Also, since they have no idea what they're doing, homework will be more painful than ever."

"Students will learn probability by exploring strategies for a dice game called The Game of Pig. They learn basic algebra by demonstrating how situations, graphs, tables and equations are related. They learn statistics through a study of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic short story, The Pit and the Pendulum. They learn geometry and trigonometry by studying shadows"

Translation: "It took thousands of years for people to formulate these ideas. Rather than just get to the point and help your children catch up to what's already been done, we'll make them rederive all this information with no real time or thought behind it."

Overall translation: "Start reserving your tutors today! Operator are standing by . . . "

ConcernedCTParent said...

They all knew that CMP was not good enough, especially for those kids who wanted to get to geometry as freshmen in high school.

Well, there's the rub. Apparently my district hasn't figured this out yet. They don't understand why many students are struggling in HS geometry. They allow a very small number of students to take geometry as freshmen(those who have completed what they consider Algebra I, but is really CMP), yet seem to think only "gifted" students should actually be in the class. How they define "gifted" probably means that the students pretty much teach themselves-- the kids that are practically immune to poor curricula and ineffective teaching. No one seems to consider it could possibly be CMP and the lack of foundation they need to succeed in geometry.

SteveH said...

"They don't understand why many students are struggling in HS geometry."

We live in a small town that only has schools that go up through 8th grade. The kids go to another town for high school. When our school was using CMP in 7th and 8th grades, the middle schools in the other town at least offered the chance at real pre-algebra and algebra courses.

Our town's kids did very poorly in math at this high school. There were stories that some of the math teachers trashed the kids from our town. We might still be using CMP if there wasn't this clear difference between the middle schools. This same effect happened when the kids from our town tried to get into a second year language course. This forced our school to change 7th and 8th grades from using strictly a full inclusion model, although they don't separate kids in the language course.

There seems to be nothing left to drive more changes. Some kids will do well and the school will ride their coattails. Many kids continue to be poorly prepared in math and the schools will continue to blame them. Worse, they will blame themselves.

By the way, I was really surprised when I ran into a parent who referred to our normal 8th grade algebra course as a "high honors" course. Things have been bad for so long that few know what normal is. Many of the parents who do understand have already moved their kids to private schools.

SAM2 said...

Is this (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/middle_math/topic/tabfig.asp#tbl1) the summary of all findings? If so, it seems to be a pretty mixed-bag for most programs.

ConcernedCTParent said...

It is a mixed bag. I've also been told I shouldn't worry. We don't have CMP, we have CMP2. CMP2 must be so much better, right?

Robin said...

Isn't CMP2 just what they came out with after the National Math Panel report so they could say it complied with the recs?

Sort of like all the Guided Reading programs (the current term of art for Whole Language) that say they comply with the National Reading Panel report because they stress reading comprehension strategies and some students can infer the phonetic code.

It works as long as no one has read the report which is usually the case. Headers of compliance will do.

SteveH said...

"...a pretty mixed-bag for most programs."

Basically, they don't have enough good data to claim anything about any program. What does "effect" mean? How is it quantified? What curriculum was used before each research test?

ConcernedCTParent said...

CMP2 is merely a shell game. It's the same junk with a "2" added on. Then they wonder why the kids are struggling in geometry. Why not ask the high school teachers what they think of CMP2?