Here is school chief’s plan for dual math programs

I uploaded school chief John Barge’s presentation on offering two math programs for those who are interested in the details. He does address the testing issue, although not definitively.

Take a look at it here.

– From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

61 comments Add your comment

Rick Jacobs

January 21st, 2011
11:08 pm

Well I for one am extremely excited to hear these new ideas and am glad I voted for Dr. John Barge for State School Supt. I have heard him speak on what he thinks are the greatest challenges to turning around our school system and it was quite interesting to hear some fresh ideas tossed about with such great determination and commitment. I truly believe that he will make a difference! Thanks Dr. Barge for taking on the challenge and dedicating yourself to the improvement of our schools. Sincerely, Rick Jacobs

think

January 21st, 2011
11:17 pm

Dear class of 2012,

We’ve used you as guinea pigs since you were in 6th grade. We now realize our experiment failed So we will correct our mistakes for the students that follow you. Unfortunately, you will be sacrificed for the greater good. Hope you didn’t dream about going to a great college. Our bad.

Career Switcher

January 22nd, 2011
1:06 am

Any thoughts on how standards for lower grades (particularly 7th/8th) will be handled? Most of what is currently taught in 8th is considered Algebra I. Some are ready for this material in middle school, but many are not. This is especially the case with students who have been placed from grade to grade after not meeting expectations in prior years.

Also, although I am not a fan of the current system, I believe that the teaching of the Frameworks and the approaches that are pushed at the county/school level in many counties (we are told this comes from the state) are more the problem than the actual standards. This includes ideas such as not explicitly teaching formulae and only practicing algebra in real-world context problems. In my experience, the top 30-40% or so are able to be successful with the current system (including the discovery approach/tasks/lack of focus on the basics). The problem lies with everyone else. Research shows that, with some (particularly the remedial and learning disabled students), direct instruction and plenty of repetition is what works. I am supposed to sit back and allow the portion of students who do not have a strong talent for mathematics (nor an adequate foundation, in many cases) to “problem solve” their way to understanding. Even when they literally can’t add, subtract, multiply, divide, or convert a fraction to a decimal. Some can, but many can’t. I do use a lot of direct instruction, guided practice and review, with the understanding that I am risking a bad evaluation in the process.

I fear that math performance in GA will not improve until we realize that not everyone should be on the same track at the same time. We should have two diploma tracks…one to prepare students for traditional college/university studies, and one to prepare students for technical college. Academic classes (Math, English, and Science) should be leveled and tailored to each track.

HS Public Teacher

January 22nd, 2011
2:16 am

Step 1: Complain about the current system/curriculum. Blame low student perforance on the curriculum and teachers.

Step 2: Get elected by claiming to have all of the answers.

Step 3: Radically change the curriculum. Adopt an established curriculum that has failed in every single State that has ever adopted it.

Step 4: Completely mess up all teacher approach to the content. Confuse all parties involved, to include the students.

Step 5: Ensure that student scores continue to dive. Use this to justify why teachers are the “real” problem.

Step 6: Radically change how teachers are evaluated. After all, the students have seen their scores dive. Include changes on how teachers are paid to save money for the State.

Step 7: Admit that there “may” be a problem with the new curriculum. Rather than take ownership of the mistake, allow for the local school systems to decide what to do.

Step 8: Plan for one of two things to happen. If a local school system changes it and does bad, highlight that we were right after all. If a local school system changes it and does better, claim victory because we allowed they to choose.

Step 9: Regardless of outcome, claim victory! Aren’t we great! Please re-elect us!!!

Did I forget anything, you republicans in Georgia?

IF YOU VOTED FOR REPUBLICAN, YOU MADE THIS MESS!!!!

InEd

January 22nd, 2011
8:46 am

I looked at the power point presentation. Does anyone at the State level have someone else look at items such as these before they go into widespread distribution? If a student of mine had created this for the culminating activity of a project, he/she would have received a low grade on it for the lack of clarity in its explanation. The layout was confusing; it’s up to the reader to decifer the chart with the grade levels.

Also, let me get this straight – the three teams of Math teachers are going to do the laundry list of items mentioned in just two days, January 25 and 26th. This is an example of just one more paint brush stroke trying to cover over and cover up prior poor decisions. Just get it right – don’t try to make it look as though at least “you’re doing something.”

ScienceTeacher671

January 22nd, 2011
9:00 am

@Career Switcher, so committee promotion is one of the biggest problems you see as well?

God help me, I was looking forward to NCLB in hopes that it would force the system to remediate some of these children instead of passing them along, but I think it’s only made the problem worse by declaring them “proficient” at 3-4 years below grade level, and making the ones who are (barely) at grade level think they are geniuses by telling them they “exceed expectations”.

@InEd, my quibble to add to your critique – I’m not an English major, but on slide 3, shouldn’t it be “students who” instead of “students that“?

Veteran Educator

January 22nd, 2011
9:07 am

How does the State plan on addressing testing? If the curriculum changes, the test has to change. This means two different forms of the test that have to be developed and compared in school districts across the State. The State needs to consider test development, test comparability, cost, and national standards before approval.

pandan

January 22nd, 2011
9:26 am

the current system seeks to avoid boredom by staying with and continually rotating broad concepts. the problem is that in any performance based subject repetition for mastery is required. Boring is doing something that accomplishes nothing while producing an incredibly dull sensation. Tedium is doing something that accomplishes while creating the same dull sensation. In other words tedium is GOOD. In sports or music the athlete/musician must embrace tedium in order to be successful. In math we have been trying to avoid the tedium by altering the curriculum and then stand around looking lost when the kids fail to learn. Slow down, let them learn. We are not here to entertain or take the painful parts of learning away.

a confused math teacher

January 22nd, 2011
9:28 am

I hear basically 3 complaints against the HS program:
1. one-size fit all
2. it moves too quickly
3. it jumps around too much

RE: 1 I hear people complaining about the new program expects too much, and others complaining they aren’t challenging enough. That makes me think maybe the standards are ok…

RE: 2 Sitting in front of me is a math 2 textbook from a major publisher. It is about 300 pages, but most of Algebra 1, 2 or geometry textbooks I have seen are at least twice as thick. Why are my colleagues moving so fast if they only need to go through a book that is less than a half of typical textbooks?

RE 3: Here are the titles of the units in this textbook.
1: Number and Operations (basically about complex numbers)
2: Algebra: Functions and Absolute Value
3: Algebra: Quadratic Functions
4: Algebra: Functions Operations, Exponential Functions and Sequences
5: Geometry: Right Triangle Trigonometry
6: Geometry: Circles and Spheres
7: Data Analysis and Probability

Not sure why teachers/parents complaining about jumping around. Maybe they are looking at the Frameworks, but that’s not what is mandated by the GPS. I bet these units were simply taken out of this publisher’s own Algebra and Geometry textbooks. If we go back to the “traditional” courses, we will still see exactly the same pages.

a confused math teacher

January 22nd, 2011
9:41 am

By the way, for elementary teachers, I highly recommend this site: mathgpselaboration.blogspot.com/

Elementary Needs Fixing

January 22nd, 2011
9:53 am

The problem with many of the students in middle and high school not understanding math is the way that elementary math is shoved down the kids throats without time for deep understanding. Few kids have any kind of number sense or understanding of basic calculations. We have done away with rote memory which is part of the problem as well. When the kids in fourth grade don’t know that 2 +3 =5 automatically and need to rely on their fingers to count it out, there is a huge problem. I have watched children from all walks of life and gifted to the average joe have these issues. We are not focusing on helping students understand numbers and math. Our kids are low in math compared to other states because we give them a mile wide curriculum that is a quarter inch deep if they are lucky.

Career Switcher

January 22nd, 2011
10:08 am

@ScienceTeacher671…I will give you a real example of a scenario that happened yesterday. We were working on a math review program on the computer, and here was the student’s problem: “List all the factors of 21″. The student listed 1 and 3. He could not figure out the other ones, and that was after contemplating the problem for 5 minutes. He also had access to a calculator built into the computer. This particular student was an 8th grader. I am expected to teach this student how to take an equation from standard form and put it into slop-intercept form, and to determine rate of change from an equation, a table, and a graph. In little more than a month, I will have to teach him to solve a 2 variable system of equations. Without a calculator. This is one example, but I could give 50 a day. My hands are tied when I am given 50 minutes a day and and a curriculum that I already don’t have time to cover before the CRCT.

I would also say that an even bigger problem than students being placed are those who score between about 800 and 815. If you look back over 3-5 years worth of scores, many students consistently fall within this range. An 800 means a student answered about 50% of questions correctly, and you can bump that to 50-65% for those in the 800-815 range. So, although these students only master 60 % of the curriculum from year to year, they slip under the radar. Imagine the math deficits for those who have only mastered 50-60% of curriculum since they began school

@ A confused math teacher…. “but that’s not what is mandated by the GPS”…it may not be mandated by GPS, but it is often mandated by central office. I remember the first year the frameworks rolled out. The district I was working for at the time mandated that we use NO textbook (not that we had one anyhow) and that we completely and totally teach from the frameworks. Our end-of-unit tests were to be the culminating tasks in the frameworks. This was how this district (and I know some others, because I spoke to friends who taught in other counties) interpreted the frameworks. We were to completely teach through the tasks. The county would go to meetings during the rollout year and would come back telling us things like “the frameworks should be your bible” and “everything you need is right there”. This was despite the fact that we told our ILT that there was not enough material in the frameworks and some of the tasks were not any good. We begged to be allowed to have days where we taught and reviewed skills, and were told again and again that they had better see tasks. Things have improved somewhat, and I am not in another district. I have said all along that a lot of the problem has been with the frameworks and the interpretation of how the GPS should be implemented.

Career Switcher

January 22nd, 2011
10:11 am

oops…last paragraph should say “I am not in ANOTHER district”…

Career Switcher

January 22nd, 2011
10:12 am

Apparently I need to fully wake up…”I am NOW in another district”!

AJinCobb

January 22nd, 2011
10:12 am

According to the slide presentation, rigor (underlined for emphasis) “will not be compromised” and the standards will be the same for both “integrated” and “traditional” pathways.

Given that the major knock against the integrated curriculum at the middle and high school levels is that it’s too difficult – pushes abstract math concepts before the students are ready to master them – I guess the standards will have to be below the course level, for students on the integrated pathway.

(Yes, I know that some people criticize the integrated curriculum as “dumbed down”. I can’t grasp how it can simultaneously be too difficult and too easy, and the preponderance of complaint seems to align with the too-difficult viewpoint, so I’m going with that one.)

Mike Honcho

January 22nd, 2011
10:23 am

Career switcher has had the same experience that I had. Prior to year 1, we were told we must use the frameworks. Luckily our administration listened to us and we quickly used some of the tasks, but included direct instruction. Teacher can handle the standards no problem. The frameworks that we were trained and told we must use are the problem.

Mike Honcho

January 22nd, 2011
10:24 am

Teachers can handle the standards.

ScienceTeacher671

January 22nd, 2011
10:44 am

@Career Switcher, in Physical Science we have the equations such as speed = distance divided by time. 9th graders apparently would rather multiply than divide, and when they must divide, the most common question I get is “Which number goes into the calculator first?”

Many of them refuse to do even third-grade level math without a calculator, and they don’t seem to understand that the “little number” can be divided by the “big number” — the answer will be a decimal. They don’t like decimals at all.

Agree about those who just barely pass the CRCT. If you are able to compare CRCT and ITBS scores for the same student, you will see that those students are still way below grade level. We’ve set the bar so low that no one has to learn to jump high anymore.

@pandan – I agree; they need the repitition and “tedium”.

teacher&mom

January 22nd, 2011
10:53 am

High school teacher perspective:
The math teachers at my school gave up on the performance tasks after the first year. They don’t have a problem with the standards or the integrated approach. In fact, they like the new standards for college bound students.

They HATE Math 1,2,3,4 for special education students and committee promoted students. The math support classes have been helpful. It is a shame that the a similar math support class for middle school students wasn’t offered and funded. The goofy Ga Virtual course for struggling 8th grade students was a cheap and flimsy attempt to address the problem.

Parent Perspective (I have child in the 2012 class who has a math learning disability):
Kathy Cox and the GA BOE should write a personal letter of apology to the class of 2012. Not because of the rigorous math standards, but because the implementation was not well planned. They slapped the new standards on a group of 6th graders with limited support for students, teachers, and schools. They rushed the development of standardized tests. They were only one year ahead of the Class of 2012 in terms of standards, frameworks, tasks, etc.

It was a shameful and shoddy example of how to NOT implement new curriculum.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming.

January 22nd, 2011
10:54 am

As an Elementary teacher, I can tell you that we are being asked to move too quickly through the curriculum. As this also happens in the earlier grades, we get students who aren’t prepared, and then we have to spend time trying to catch them up – which puts them even further behind. It is a vicious cycle!

When I use to teach first grade, I did all I could to try and wean my students off using their fingers for addition by the time they moved on to second. When I taught second, I expected all my students to be weaned off fingers for both addition and subtraction of basic facts by the time they left me. This year in third, a full HALF my class came in still using fingers for addition and subtraction of basic facts. I have children who need fingers to figure out 6-1… and these are not students with “special needs”. These are just children who have been moved along too fast, have not had time to absorb the meaning behind the operations, and have not been held accountable for memorizing facts. (It is also a grade wide problem, and not just my students.) Our grade team has spent a long time trying to get them to memorize basic math facts (even though such rote memorization of facts is considered “bad” by many who don’t actually WORK with students.) As a result of working so hard to get them where they need to be in addition and subtraction, we are now behind in multiplication and division. I am supposed to be teaching large number division at this point, but my students have barely begun to grasp what the concept of division means! (Actually I am supposed to be into fractions my now.)

I love the emphasis on “critical thinking” in the new approach to math, BUT if you don’t have a foundation in the basics (which sometimes requires some memorization) you don’t have the tools to do the problem solving work efficiently. Some of those framework problems are great to work through, but they take a great deal of time, and my pacing scale does not allow for much time spent on any one concept. It is disheatening.

Ed Johnson

January 22nd, 2011
12:01 pm

Slide 2: “[T]he Georgia Department of Education proposes the following short-term solution to the challenges facing school districts as they strive to ensure that an optimal number of students graduate with a Georgia high school diploma.”

Q: Short-term solution? What consideration for the long-term?

Q: Why would any public school district be about the business of ensuring that an optimal number of students graduate?

Slide 5: “Develop formative assessment tools”

Q: For use by teachers to help them continaully (again, continually) improve their and their students’ learning, or for use by administrators to continuously (again, continuously) monitor teacher performance and such?

SR

January 22nd, 2011
12:05 pm

The math curricula in every grade in my high school are tough. I’m okay with that – it means I just have to hang up the phone and spend time studying for tests and quizzes in that class. However, I’m not okay when my entire class fails a test on a Friday (with grades like 40’s and 50’s), and my teacher, to no fault of her own, says that we have no time to go over the test on Monday because we must start a new chapter immediately in order to have another test on Friday on new material. We go at a breakneck pace, then either pass or fail the test, but we must immediately get back up and start all over again or else we will not be prepared for the EOTC.

Old Timer Educator

January 22nd, 2011
12:19 pm

Would love to know how they’re choosing the teachers to sit on these panels. They don’t have the time to pull from the trenches. Which, I’m assuming, means they’ll get the opinions of those who have already been heard from.

If I were on the panel these are some of the things that I’d bring up:

#1: The problem is not the rigor – the problem is timing. For the regular ed kids (not the accelerated students) there is no time built into the curriculum for remediation. Teachers may be able to squeeze five or ten minutes a day into reviewing needed prior knowledge, but that’s it. Teachers are told to “assume” that students have already mastered the content from previous courses, not to spend time on those items. That may be true in Never Never Land, but in the real world it’s simply not realistic. Also, the curriculum is set up to more or less cover a new objective each day. There is no consideration given to students who may need more time. They can’t ALL be in the support class and attending before/after school tutorial is not an option for every student.

#2: The way the content has been chopped up does not lend itself to understanding. In the old Geometry program, students were introduced to geometric figures and they started from the foundations (point, line, plane) and moved right through angles, triangles, and polygons. It was cohesive because they were learning information that was connected, like building blocks. Yes, they’re still getting the building blocks – the only problem is it is spread out over several years….and since any time for review or remediation subtracts from time spent on new content your teachers have to make a decision to either ensure students know the basics of the material or try to teach content that they may not be ready for. That’s not fair to your students or teachers.

It may be old-fashioned, but I am an Old time Educator. I’d much rather see the kids learn – and I mean really learn – five chapters of content then skim over seven chapters that they can’t even retain knowledge of until the end of the year. Retention comes from learning, not memorizing. You want higher scores on tests, you want kids ready for college math, you want them able to do math in the real world – SLOW DOWN and give the kids a chance to truly learn the content.

#3: KC was so hip on bringing the Singapore style of learning to Georgia, but she completely failed to account for 1/2 of the system. Yes, kids there use a task-oriented approach to learning, yes they use this “integrated” system (for lack of a better word), and all this is done on the regular daily schedule. What about the ten additional hours each week that the students have to spend on drill and practice? Their students are required to either spend extra time in class after school or on Saturdays doing nothing but drill and practice. A few years back when they were first talking about the “Singapore” method it took me about 15 minutes on Google to find out that we were only being told half the story. You can’t adopt half a plan and expect it to work.

Just a few thoughts on this fine Saturday morning, er, afternoon.

What's best for kids?

January 22nd, 2011
1:19 pm

Students WHO, not Students THAT….YIKES!

hello.life

January 22nd, 2011
1:35 pm

Wait…so they are proposing two math curriculums? How confusing that will be… I personally don’t have that much against the new math. Yes at first I didn’t enjoy it, but that was because it was just a change in things. After a while I got used to it and to me its wasn’t that difficult. Parents, I’m sorry to inform you that your child may not be able to handle and do superbly well in every class. Some students will have to work extremely hard and get poor results. Unfortunately, that is how life works: not everyone has the same talents or skills.

Dekalbite

January 22nd, 2011
2:19 pm

Wow. When I taught 4th grade in a low income school I used to give my students timed simple addition, subtraction and multiplication tests all the time. The premise was that they would try to better their time to complete the tests, and almost all of them did. They didn’t like being behind their peers on a timed test. Some of them just had to work harder and practice more to memorize their facts, but that’s life. I contacted and met with parents of students that didn’t know their basic facts and gave them “flash cards” to use with their kids. If their parents weren’t available or willing to help them, then I got them to get a cousin or older sibling to practice with them with those flash cards. They had to be fluent in those basic facts so we could move through the 4th grade math curriculum. I had a hissy fit if any one of them was counting on his/her fingers by 4th grade.

Listen up!

January 22nd, 2011
3:02 pm

How many times can we say it? The math curriculum from kindergarten on up MOVES TOO QUICKLY! Fix this problem and maybe, just maybe you will get proficient math students.

InEd

January 22nd, 2011
3:45 pm

Thanks, What’s best for kids, re: the English grammar correction on the slide – just opening up the blog again and saw the post.
I pray that State BOE folks read this blog and take it to their Monday morning meetings with an attitude of what they can take away from the comments made here. If I were one of those folks, that’s what I’d be doing – they are no smarter, wiser, or experienced than the folks WHO are posting on this blog – :) had to get that one dig in, sorry.

Shamus

January 22nd, 2011
4:14 pm

@ Old time,

#1 Should a curriculum have a built-in time for “remediation”? I would say “No,” but qualify it by saying that a curriculum should alocate enough time for (most, not necessarily all) students to master the expectations. It used to be, and perhaps it still is in some places, the first two months of a school year was just review. I’m sure there were some kids who benefited from such review, but others were bored to death. The same happens right before the EOCT/CRCT. It is true that children learn at different rates. It is perfectly normal to have distribution of grades on any test. If we build in review time, we are wasting the time for those students who got it first time.

This issue applies to any standards – not the GPS, or an integrated math.

#2 You can’t expect students to study all geometry in one continuous course – students begin the study of shape in elementary school, and continue on through HS. It’s just a practical problem. When you throw in Geometry in between Algebra I and II, aren’t we “chopping up” Algebra? Why isn’t that a problem? When studying functions, why do we not study linear function, quadratic functions, higher degree functions, exponential functions, logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, etc. instead of breaking these into different courses?

#3 I don’t know where “Singapore” come in. The GPS has nothing to do with the Singapore math. If anything, they are closer to the Japanese standards. Furthermore, I don’t know how accurate your description of the Singapore schooling. Here is a blog written by a well known Singapore mathematics education: singaporemathz4kidz.blogspot.com

love2teach

January 22nd, 2011
4:15 pm

@ Dekalbite. I agree with you. When I taught 4th grade, I began EVERY math lesson with a timed fact check. Most of the students who were behind, quickly caught up. It paid dividends when it can to the standardized tests. It only took about 3 mins per day. Time well spent.

What's best for kids?

January 22nd, 2011
4:18 pm

InEd, I’m just pointing out what the Educational LEADERS should already know. I mean, come on; it’s a state wide publication. Should we excuse it because it’s not about English?
See, this is one of the problems. People bemoan the education in Georgia, and then smirk and blow it off when a state wide publication puts something out that is grammatically incorrect. The state should be modeling correct grammar and usage. And the person WHO typed it up should be demoted.

Veteran teacher, 2

January 22nd, 2011
4:23 pm

All the folks who are celebrating the “return” to traditional approaches should take notice. NONE of the standards are missing. They may or may not be reordered, but EVERY STUDENT WILL STILL BE REQUIRED TO GO THROUGH AT LEAST CURRENT MATH1 AND MATH2 standards.

I am one of the participants in the meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. Rest assured that I intend to say loudly and as often as allowed that there is way too much content for at least Math1 and Math2 as currently configured. I don’t see how changing the order to basically create an algebra class, a geometry class, and some kind of advanced class for year 3 will change very much at all.

By the way, I lecture and show examples every day. No one I know has said that teachers were to never do examples and show formulas, etc. Any administrator that said to only use frameworks or any other one source for teaching the GPS was terribly mis-informed, in my opinion.

If you are wondering about my qualifications for being on one of the teams for the meetings next week, I have taught every high school math class except AP Calculus (I have taught Calculus, just not AP), and I have taught most of the introductory college math classes over a 30+ year career.

Veteran teacher, 2

January 22nd, 2011
4:30 pm

I also think there is a disconnect with the EOCT’s. I do not have much confidence in the fidelity of the EOCT tests. Most of the released items are extemely difficult. I know groups of math teachers that have worked over an hour on the released Math2 EOCT questions. I have also been in groups of math teachers that have argued (in a good way) over some of the answers that are given for the released questions. The current EOCT is about as difficult and comprehensive as the current teacher certification test, and we are giving the EOCT tests to 14-16 year olds with a lot less experience that the college graduates taking the certification tests.

I would seriously question the experiences of anyone who says the current math GPS is too easy.

Mike Honcho

January 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Veteran teacher 2 – I like your qualifications. I’m glad your are going to be there. If you lecture and show examples every day, when are you able to allow students to complete the performance tasks? BTW – I do the same. In my district we were told to teach the frameworks. We were told that we should focus on the frameworks because the people who wrote the frameworks will write the EOCT. As the years have passed, the majority of teachers I know try to do the same as I do. We teach through lecture and examples while still allowing time for some (the decent ones) of the tasks. I agree with you that there is too much content in math I and math II. In my opinion, the order the standards are taught should definitely be adjusted. It is just too choppy. We can easily insert geometry topics in algebra lessons, but the placement of the statistics units are poor.

An American Patriot

January 22nd, 2011
6:03 pm

You know, just cut out the CRAP and start teaching again……folks, it’s plain, what they’re doin’ ain’t working…..wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GHSGT

January 22nd, 2011
6:15 pm

Veteran Teacher 2: I am glad to see someone of your caliber participating in the meetings. My question is this. We have long voiced concerns on this blog for the class of 2012-14, those caught in the roll out of the new math. Changes are afoot because THESE students struggled so much. The light is at the end of the tunnel for the class of 2015 and beyond, but what about our current high school kids? Specifically I’m concerned about this new math graduation test which is coming out just as the whole program is being changed. This new test is supposed to be harder than ever, and teachers and students alike are very worried. I would love to hear the new superintendent’s take on that. Personally I feel if these kids have muddled through math 1-3 with passing course grades they should be exempt from the test. Better yet, since GHSGTs are being discontinued in a couple of years, how about just ending them NOW-or at least for math?

justin

January 22nd, 2011
6:24 pm

just curious people would think Veteran teacher, 2 is of “high caliber” if he/she agrees with the integrated approach…

Dedicatedandtired

January 22nd, 2011
7:08 pm

I want to know what will happen K-8?

Veteran teacher, 2

January 22nd, 2011
7:24 pm

@GHSGT-You are not the only one saying that about the new GHSGT. I am proud of the kids in our school. They have stuck with us, and they know a heckofa lot of math, but I don’t know how well they will do on that test.

Honcho-We are a pretty small school, so we have had only a couple of people teaching Math1. We realized very early that it was going to be impossible to use all the tasks for many reasons. Several of the tasks, or at least parts of the tasks are excellent and useful, so we have gradually put together a hybrid of tasks, bookwork, teacher-made materials, stuff from the internet, and old fashioned demonstration/lecture. I am proud of what our kids have accomplished, and I feel like the teachers have risen to the matter at hand.

@justin-Lol, you did notice that I purposely did not say! I actually am very confident that I can teach the math regardless of the order we put it in. I am more concerned that we have too much that we are “required” to cover to ensure real learning. Besides, regardless of the order we are “supposed” to use, I might go in a different order based on who I am teaching. Many texts present different orders of material within traditional Algebra 1, Geometry, and especially Algebra 2. I am not going to lose any sleep over the order that we ultimately decide. I can adjust accordingly!

HS Public Teacher

January 22nd, 2011
7:37 pm

Most everyone on here wants to discuss individual issues and events within a classroom.

Please recognize that this is not your fault. It is not the fault of the math teacher. It is not the fault of the student.

It is the fault of the republican politicans in Georgia that started us down this path a few years ago. It is now the fault of the republican politicans that want to push this mess down into the individual school systems and of course the next step – down into the classroom.

We all need to stop with the “war stories”. We need to identify the source of the problem. And, then FIX IT.

If you voted for any republican candidate, then you have contributed to this problem – STOP IT!

Mike Honcho

January 22nd, 2011
7:37 pm

I would be suspicious of any high school math teacher who has been teaching more than 10 years and does not have serious concerns with the current curriculum. I also hope they listen to people from both sides of the fence. They should include teachers who are currently teaching students who 5 years ago would be in applied math courses.

Mike Honcho

January 22nd, 2011
7:40 pm

I voted for Dr. Barge and so far I’m impressed.

JAT

January 22nd, 2011
7:57 pm

Yeah, how’s that ..non union thing going for you GA?

InEd

January 22nd, 2011
7:57 pm

@What’s best for kids – I’m with you about the moaning and groaning about education in Georgia and then tear down ideas when they’re presented. I stand by my original post around 8:00 a.m. this morning – it’s the lack of clarity of the powerpoint presentation that’s the problem; I wasn’t the one who mentioned the grammar aspect, it was another poster.

The main problem with the presentation is that it lacked substance. Outside of Math teachers, significant material was not clear, at least to me, it wasn’t clear. My message is one of caution to those in charge at the State level – don’t rush to put something out there to give indications that something is being done to address the issue. The reason the presentation gives that appearance is that in no way, shape or form can a two-day meeting of Math teachers complete the tasks they’ve been asked to complete.

ScienceTeacher671

January 22nd, 2011
8:26 pm

Veteran Teacher 2, just curious as to whether you think Math 1 content is beyond the reach of students who have failed the 8th grade CRCT and been committee promoted anyway?

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

January 22nd, 2011
8:36 pm

Veteran Teacher, 2:

Please keep us apprised about what transpires at your meetings Monday and Tuesday.

Diana Jackson

January 22nd, 2011
8:39 pm

I am a 17 yr elementary teacher and a mother of a 14 yr old 8th grader. I see both ends. Let me just say that I think our whole system math needs overhauling. These students are being pushed through math too fast and they are not getting the basics down well enough to carry them to middle school math. My son has two parents that worked with him every night on math homework, multipllication, etc… and is still struggling through the new math. WE HATE IT! Yes , I am an educator and YES IT NEEDS CHANGING!!!!!!

HS Math Teacher

January 22nd, 2011
9:00 pm

I hope there is enough representation in these “meetings” of small, rural schools. I’m sick & tired of decisions that are “metro-fied”.

Veteran teacher, 2

January 22nd, 2011
9:09 pm

@HS Math Teacher-I am from a small, rural school. Most of the invitees are from outside metro Atlanta.
@ST671-I think most students should be able to do the statistics part of Math1. A lot of the Geometry is pretty doable. The more advanced algebra is a stretch for many students. In general, those that are willing to work can get it. Those that do little but gripe and complain don’t do too well. I have always been able to fill in gaps for those that are willing to work. Actually, I have many more problems with lazy Accelerated students. We have done quite well with many of the special ed students, also.

HS Math Teacher

January 22nd, 2011
9:19 pm

Vet. Teach. 2: Good for you. Give ‘em hell. Inundate them with common sense and practicality.