kitchen table math, the sequel: Barry on the Seattle decision

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Barry on the Seattle decision

Barry clarifies the question of whether the court ordered the Seattle school district to adopt a particular curriculum (which is what I assumed when I read the news):
....the court did not rule on the textbook or curriculum. Rather, it ruled on the school board’s process of decision making—more accurately, the lack thereof. The court ordered the school board to revisit the decision. Judge Julie Spector found that the school board ignored key evidence—like the declaration from the state’s Board of Education that the discovery math series under consideration was “mathematically unsound”, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction not recommending the curriculum and last but not least, information given to the board by citizens in public testimony.

The decision is an important one because it highlights what parents have known for a long time: School boards generally do what they want to do, evidence be damned. Discovery-type math programs are adopted despite parent protests, despite evidence of experts and—-judging by the case in Seattle—-despite findings from the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Skydiving without Parachutes
Ed says he heard on NPR of a successful court case in which a parent successfully sued a district for failing to teach her child to read -- apparently someone has written a book about the story.

Has anyone heard anything about this?


Jennie said...

This is the full interview of Beth Fertig on WNYC.
This is a link to her book.

Catherine Johnson said...

Thank you!