Archive for the ‘math’ Category

State’s math teachers: Traditional math doesn’t cut it today

Several of you contend that the Mathematics Curriculum Team at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Council of Supervisors of Mathematics don’t really know what it takes to teach math so their endorsement of integrated math –  found on the blog today — should not be taken seriously. (Both groups do include people who teach math for a living.)

Now, here comes the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which calls the integrated math approach  “the most effective for the 21st century Georgia workforce.”

The council represents 3,000 math teachers. The council did not poll all its members, but its leadership strongly supports the integrated curriculum and many of of them were involved in its development.

I understand the criticisms of the state’s integrated math, but I think it is foolish to overlook the people in the field who support it. I attended one of the workshops held to develop the new standards back in the Cox era and it was full of math teachers from around …

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State math supervisors: Don’t change. Maintain integrated math.

Here is another warning from mathematicians, the Georgia Council of Supervisors of Mathematics, about the state plan to revert to traditional math in view of  high numbers of failing students.

Their members maintain that the state will make a mistake offering two math programs, saying  that Georgia has made real progress in math and the plan is “alarming and place this trajectory of success at risk.” The statement includes supporting data charts, which I will try and post in a Google doc later today.

To Whom It May Concern:

As members of the Georgia Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (GSCM), we would like to extend our support and commitment to the implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). We strongly believe that ALL students can learn mathematics, and we applaud the state’s commitment to implementing the rigorous Common Core State Standards.

Georgia has earned national recognition for establishing high academic standards in mathematics with …

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UGA math team: Return to traditional math “inefficient, wasteful, and demoralizing”

The Mathematics Curriculum Team at the University of Georgia endorses the integrated math approach now in Georgia schools, calling it “typical in countries whose students are high achievers in mathematics. This approach to teaching mathematics enables students to understand connections among concepts from algebra, geometry, and data analysis, which, in turn, leads to effective problem solving and critical thinking.”

The team says that the state DOE’s plan to revert to traditional math “would be inefficient, wasteful, and demoralizing. Switching back to traditional courses would also indicate lack of vision on the part of our state and the inability to persevere through the implementation of true reform.”

Here is the full statement:

We, the Mathematics Curriculum Team at the University of Georgia, endorse the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) with great enthusiasm and anticipation. We applaud the GaDOE for the visionary progress of the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and …

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A debate over Georgia math: Where do you stand?

Lots of stuff in the AJC today about Georgia’s new math, including a pro-con package on the education op-ed page. (A few of you have talked to me about writing op-eds for the Monday education page that I put together. Send them any time.) There was also a front page story today on how much systems have invested in the new math that now may go away. I will post that later.)

The pieces are by John Konop, a business owner and Get Schooled poster, and Dane Marshall of Cumming, a retired mathematics teacher with more than 40 years of education experience.

Here they are:

By John Konop

Math 123 may be a well-intended effort to prepare students for a globally competitive workplace, but it’s a proven failure that’s causing substantially more harm than good. Math 123 radically changed our high school math curriculum without properly reviewing it with teachers and parents. It replaced the traditional math sequence (Algebra I & II, geometry and trigonometry) with Math 1, Math 2 and …

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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

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Systems can now choose which math to teach

School chief John Barge wasted no time on his pledge to revisit the state’s new math.

The question I have is whether this makes the situation even more complicated for transfer students — one of the concerns originally — as students often move from one system to another within the same state. Now, you could have adjacent Georgia systems teaching a different math program. And will we be paying for two sets of tests now?

Is this the best solution?

According to the AJC:

State Superintendent John Barge, responding to the ire of parents and the governors’ concerns about the graduation rate, introduced a plan Thursday to allow local school districts to choose how they will teach math giving students the same rigor, but different approaches to learning concepts.

The plan allows districts to teach math in the traditional way and do away with the current integrated Math I, Math II and Math III courses, accelerated classes which have been criticized for being too fast-paced resulting in …

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Anyone willing to comment on Georgia math?

The AJC is working on a news story for tomorrow on the state’s math program and wants to talk to parents and teachers who have concerns about the current math curriculum. Please e-mail Aileen Dodd at aileen.dodd@ajc.com.

Thanks, Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

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Gold Dome 2011: No vouchers, no money, less HOPE

Senate Education and Youth Chair Fran Millar

Senate Education and Youth Chair Fran Millar

At a media conference Friday, state Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, recounted how his adult daughter chided him that the Legislature’s cuts to education and furloughs cost her son’s teacher $3,200 in salary that year.

“Would you rather lose your job?” Millar asked his daughter, telling her that his company had laid off 15 people right before Christmas.

“When it comes to furloughs, it was the best alternative to layoffs,” he said. “So far,  you have heard Gov. Deal say he was going to eliminate 14,000 unfilled positions. We haven’t used the word layoffs yet. But we have heard that word everyplace else in the private sector. Everyone has to do more with less. That is the world we live in.

“This year is going to be very difficult,” Millar said. ” We better get used to it. We have to get alternative revenue sources. I was there when we passed all these tax breaks under Democrats and Republicans. It didn’t matter. We are going to do a way …

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High school seniors post slight gains on NAEP

Gains were seen in both the 12th grade reading and math scores in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress results that were just released.

The 12th grade scores come at a time of intense focus on college and work readiness in our nation’s high schools and a big push for students to take higher-level math courses. Whether the NAEP gains adequately reflect that intense focus and push is already under debate.

From Education Week:

“Yes, there have been gains [for 12th grade], and they’re significant, but overall, the results are still disappointing, especially in comparison to the big gains at 4th and 8th grade,” said Tom Loveless, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who follows NAEP trends.

One possible explanation for 12th graders’ scores, he said, is that the exam doesn’t adequately reflect what students are actually studying in school. Another is that course content might not be as rigorous as course titles suggest. Mr. Loveless pointed out that math scores rose …

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Farewell High School Graduation Test: It took 10 years

Georgia high school tests are facing one less set of tests now with the elimination of the GHSGT. (Dean Rohrer, NewsArt)

Georgia high school students are facing one less set of tests now with the elimination of the GHSGT. (Dean Rohrer, NewsArt)

The first time I heard that the state was going to phase out the Georgia High School Graduation Test, Roy Barnes was governor. It took 10 years to fulfill his plan to replace the exit exam with the End of Course Tests, which are considered more reflective of what students have learned.

Back then, I went to many hearings where people decried the lack of rigor of the GHSGT. (Although some teachers said the science test was not as easy as its critics maintained.)

As it turned out, Georgia students ended up with both the Georgia High School Graduation Test and the End of Course exams.

I thought it was crazy to test high schoolers on two sets of exit exams, and I think this is a good decision, albeit an overdue one.

As usual, my posters are ahead of the curve and one astute reader already sent me these questions as I was writing up this news. I am sharing the …

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