kitchen table math, the sequel: Good News in Minnesota

Friday, April 25, 2014

Good News in Minnesota

A small but growing number of schools in the Twin Cities metro are going in a good direction. Many are adopting Singapore's Primary Math or the Singapore based Math in Focus.

Independent schools are leading this newest wave. The Blake School went to Math in Focus in grades 1-5 and Primary Math's K program, in Fall 2013.  Minnehaha Academy is going to Math in Focus in Fall 2014 in K-5. Saint Paul Academy is going to Math in Focus in K-5 in Fall 2014. Mounds Park Academy is going to Singapore Math, some variety tbd, in K-5 in Fall 2014. Groves Academy is going to Primary Math in its lower school in Fall 2014. Parochial school Holy Family Academy went to Primary Math in Fall 2013. Providence Academy, a Catholic independent school, is going to Math in Focus in Fall 2014.

Some charters have already been on board, including Nova Classical Academy and Yinghua Academy.

Districts are switching as well. Eagan-Burnsville-Savage district and Robbinsdale district have moved to Math in Focus.

There is more work to do, but this is a great start.


momof4 said...

Providence Academy is also a Core Knowledge school.

John said...

Seeing this in the Columbus ohio area. Public school districts included. Apparently Everyday Math isn't able to show it follows the common core standards. This has been the best part about common core here is the dumping of Everyday math which all the districts used previously.

Catherine Johnson said...


That's fantastic.

I had a meeting yesterday with an exec from; she says Pleasantville (NY - here in Westchester County) uses a Singapore-math style book. I assume it's Math in Focus.

Allison (& Cassy) -- one of these days we all need to be filled in on what has been happening with engageny math.

For everyone else: engageny math was (apparently) going to be based in Singapore Math .... but has run into problems.

My district dumped Trailblazers & 'adopted' engageny math before it had even been written; teachers have been downloading math modules as they are posted.

It's a complete disaster, and district leadership is so terrible that principals (& board members) have been openly telling parents not to sweat it because future students won't have 'gaps.'

Current students have gaps, but that's to be expected.

I had a board member explain this *to my face.*

I didn't manage to make a dent in the logic.

momof4 said...

Scarsdale switched to Singapore Math,starting with the early grades, a few years ago. Hooray!

Auntie Ann said...

I assume engageny is not pronounced: en-gag-en-ee?

ChemProf said...

Unfortunately, in California, Primary Mathematics Common Core didn't make the cut for approval.

But I do know a few independent schools adopted it recently in Berkeley (as a math prof at my school has been evangelizing).

Allison said...

Momof4, Providence is not a Core Knowledge school these days.


Here, The shift hasn'y been away from Everyday Math. The shift has been away from *nothing*. The vast majority of these schools had been telling teachers to "teach the standards", and had already abandoned curricula and been just pulling stuff off the web, or having each teacher/grade use something different.

The other interesting bit is these schools going to MiF are choosing to align to Common Core, even though the state doesn't. Most of the independents took Common Core standards into account when trying to define what standards they will follow. (PM hasn't yet fully released its new Common Core ed, which makes it difficult for schools to eval and adopt it for Fall just yet, though it may happen at some of these schools.)

Allison said...

EngageNY. Engage New York.

momof4 said...

Allison; thanks for the correction. When we lived in MN, we received mailings from Providence which stated that it was a CK school - apparently, things have changed

Crimson Wife said...

The state board of ed here in CA rejected the new version of Singapore PM primarily because its S&S was ahead of CCSS. So much for all the CCSS proponents who kept swearing up and down that CCSS was "a floor, not a ceiling".

Fortunately, our virtual charter is fine with me keeping my DS in the old CA standards edition of PM. He's in 4A now and I'm planning on finishing up at least through PM 5B. I haven't yet decided whether to switch to Art of Problem Solving at that point or continue on with Singapore. My oldest is in Singapore Discovering Math 8A as she would hate the "discovery" approach of AoPS. But my DS is enjoying the AoPS elementary "Beast Academy" books that he's using along side PM.

ChemProf said...

Yeah, I will find out how our homeschooling charter feels about it this fall. Hopefully we can stick to the old version!

Allison said...

CW said: "The state board of ed here in CA rejected the new version of Singapore PM primarily because its S&S was ahead of CCSS."

Why do you say this? Did you read the report? The analysis I saw didn't suggest that at all; they dinged PM largely for not being student-led-inquiry enough. Do you have a link?

Allison said...


All I've seen of the new CC version of PM is the ToC. It looks fantastic--more coherent than the CA standards ed., and much closer to the prior US edition. Some print copies of some volumes were available for show at NCTM/NCSM recently. I wasn't there, so can't comment on them directly, but if I were a school and could be sure all the volumes were ready by August, I'd buy them!

ChemProf said...

See page 64 of the report: "Criteria Category 1: Mathematics Content/Alignment with the Standards
The program does not support teaching to the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and does not cover all of the evaluation criteria in category 1."

That may not have been the main issue, but yeah, they say it doesn't align with CA standards. In California, honestly, Common Core has been an excuse for some of the worst reform math I've seen (including parent meetings explaining why it is okay to have the wrong answer for 5+5 - this is a big topic of conversation locally).

I'd be happy to use the new version or the pre-standards edition, but it is a question of what the charter will allow since we are expected to take the state tests. We'll see how this all works for us!

Crimson Wife said...

I pulled out some of the relevant quotes:

Here are quotes from the reviewer's comments on PM in the "2014 Mathematics Adoption Instructional Quality Commission Advisory Report":

"chapters are not grade level, therefore students do not spend the large majority of their time on the major work of the grade."
"content progressions grade-by-grade are based on concepts within the program and not progressions in the Standards."
"components make students responsible for topics before the grade in which they are introduced in the Standards."
"material does not help English learners, students below grade level, or students with disabilities."

The full link is here (scroll down to Marshall Cavendish, Primary Mathematics):

Crimson Wife said...

I have also heard through the grapevine that a big reason why Math in Focus: The Singapore Approach was approved by the state and Singapore Primary Mathematics was not is because MiF has a Spanish language version available.