BY RAYMOND JOHNSON | PUBLISHED MAY 6, 2013
I have had an interesting chat this past week with one of the Pearson curriculum developers in the comment section tied to the post.
Jenny Hatch says:
May 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm
Common core proponents are yelling they are just offering standards to school boards and parents, not curriculum.
When the big progressive corporate powers that be bought out all of the Independent Math Curriculum Companies, they made certain to dumb them all down knowing that when curriculum committees went looking for a “world class” Math book, it really did not matter which one was chosen, because they all stunk.
Heads they win, Tails we lose…Suckas!
Here is what they did to Saxon Math:
Bowen Kerins says:
May 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm
Working for an Independent Math Curriculum Company, I can assure you that we have not all been bought out, nor have we been dumbed down. Have a look sometime… uh… suckas?
Your claim that “all serious Mathematicians agree, the original SAXON Math curriculum, especially the second edition, has no equal, and is the best in the marketplace” is far from accurate.
Jenny Hatch says:
May 7, 2013 at 9:53 pm
Does your excellent, world class, bar none the best on the planet Math Curriculum have an accompanying “Remedial” program tied to it?
So that when the younguns’ use your materials approximately 33 1/2 % of the children need a Math Specialist and “Special” curriculum?
The thing is all of you specialists need to understand that a group of people are very much aware of the tactics beings used to dumb down American Children and we are not going to sit quietly down and just let this monstrosity percolate in the schools without trying to expose the frauds.
You need to “Simma Down”, taka a chill pill, and decide if you want to be a part of the problem or of the solution…
Homeschooling Mom and General Rabble Rouser about #CommonCore
Bowen Kerins says:
May 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm
I don’t see myself as a specialist, I see myself as a former high school teacher who started writing books because I thought we could make something better than what existed. (That appears to be the same biography as Mr. Saxon.)
Today I spent the entire day working with math teachers in Lawrence, MA as they begin implementing a schoolwide curriculum at their high school for the first time in many years, and I am proud that they will be using our program, CME Project. We have previously shown success (in student achievement, efficacy, in standardized testing) in many other cities. CME Project is written by teachers with over 100 years of combined classroom experience, funded by the National Science Foundation, and field-tested for five years before publishing. Some of the work in CME Project was incorporated into the Common Core State Standards, particularly the Standards for Mathematical Practice intended to highlight eight deep goals of K-12 mathematics, such as persistent problem-solving, using precise language, and generalizing from repeated reasoning.
Our materials are built with a low-threshold, high-ceiling approach so that all … uhh, younguns’? … can learn and succeed. Our curriculum has very high standards, and students rise to meet those standards. Students learn math by working on math problems — good problems, connected to one another, with both short-term and long-term goals.
Our program comes with support for students who enter our curriculum below grade level, while continuing to ask those students to take on work at level. We have consistently found that students can and will take on challenging mathematical tasks if they are given the opportunity to work on them, gaining self-efficacy and perseverance through work.
None of this happens without high-quality teachers doing their work. I will always be grateful for the great work of these professionals. It’s an honor to work with teachers and students around the country, and a privilege to see our work succeeding in measurable ways.
However, it may instead be true that I am destroying America and am a complete fraud who needs to simmer down. I suggest you read through our curriculum, talk to teachers who use it, and get a sense of what we wrote and why we wrote it. The chance of this happening may be less than “approximately 33 1/2%” — seriously, why didn’t you just say “approximately one-third” — but I’m always glad to defend our work. Thanks for reading!
Jenny Hatch says:
May 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Thanks for explaining what you do.
I appreciate the overview mostly because Pearson has been fingered as the company with the most at stake in the Common Core rollout.
As a parent my biggest issue with the reading and math curriculums is the recidivism of the various companies.
And really, who can blame them with all that lovely money flowing in. Taxpayer money mostly.
My own research and frankly, national test scores, have proven year after year after year that nothing has changed, children are still being taught with materials DESIGNED to ensure that ONE THIRD of them will need remediation in math and reading.
With so many careers on the line and so much cash to be pumped into the glory hole of the cash cow that is American Education, WHO has the will to reform this glutonous system???
I think of the curriculum companies the same way I think of the Pharma companies who run Medicine.
When the business model DEPENDS on a high percentage of sickness and educational failure…well, I just do NOT believe Taxpayers should be funding this madness.
If we had a truly competitive private sector in education and medicine, with no taxpayer slush fund, everyone would be amazed to watch how quickly these sick systems of education and medicine reformed themselves.
But when every Johnnie and Susie has ten grand tucked away in their backpack every year to be doled out to whoever is smart enough to GO FOR THE GOLD, and when Johnnie and Susie have twenty grand per year if someone can just manage to get them labeled reading or math challenged…
Well, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or even a Math specialist, (sorry, teacher) to crunch them numbers…
And today over at the Utahns against Common Core Blog a devastating Math Post outlined the stark difference between Common Core approved Math Textbooks and Saxon Math.
Here is a link to the Post Titled STEM is Dead in Utah Courtesy of the usoe
And an excerpt from Oak Nortons Post:
Several years ago I was involved in what has been called “The Math Wars”. Alpine School District had quit teaching the times tables, long division, and some other basic math skills, to children under the promise that a constructivist (ie. children need to construct their own knowledge) approach to math would deepen their skills. This was an abominable failure. Even at BYU where 2 math education professors got permission (by someone over the math department’s dead body) to teach a class of honors calculus to freshmen with this method. The result was a disaster. Honors calculus students measuring Dixie Cups with rulers while regular students were learning how to integrate. Predictably to everyone but those 2 professors teaching the constructivist class, their students scored below all 17 sections of non-honors calculus on the final exam. Their final defeat? Blame it on the test writer who had been creating the same test from the same objectives for years…
Now the big lie. Current research says there are NO studies that support constructivism. Dr. Jim Milgram, Stanford math professor who has been and may still currently be the only educator invited to serve on NASA’s advisory board, noted that if constructivist math were a success, NASA would be looking for students that went through that pedagogy. The fact is, BYU’s math education professors’ failure is typical of constructivist programs.
There is only one conclusion. Following the USOE’s math recommendations will kill STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives. All you business leaders and technology oriented professionals supporting Common Core are going to be in for a rude awakening as this machine destroys love of math, destroys math skills, and destroys any edge Utah has for technology…unless…
Utah must drop Common Core and restore local control. The USOE is hell-bent on constructivism and unless there is a major personnel change at the USOE, it’s going to rest on the shoulders of parents to take their children’s education into their own hands (literally), and leave those who can’t get the support at home to drown in fuzzy math.
In 2006 or so, Brett Moulding, state curriculum director at the USOE invited me to his office to ask a simple question. “Oak, you’re a parent who is very involved in your children’s education. How can we replicate that to other parents?”
“Easy,” I replied. “Just implement Investigations math statewide and you’ll have all the parental involvement you can handle.”
True story. I just had no idea they were going to take my suggestion literally. Parents, you may seriously want to consider The Great Escape…Homeschooling.
[…] More Math nonsense HERE. […]
Thanks for your comment Bowen. I would be interested in the onlne version of your texts, just email me at JennyMHatch@Yahoo.com. And good luck with your curriculum. It does sound like you have created something of value for Math students.
PS I would be interested in knowing how many of the students who use your materials need remediation.
I am not a Pearson curriculum developer. Our work was not written by Pearson: CME Project was written by Education Development Center, independently of any publisher, through an NSF grant. The details of the grant is described in the front matter of every book. EDC owns the copyright of the books’ content. Pearson publishes our books because they feel there is an important market for our materials. They did not change any of the mathematics we wrote into the program. I have directly witnessed test scores going up in places that use CME Project, including large school systems with very big challenges.
While I understand the reasons you might not want to support our work due to our partnership with Pearson, I do not work for them. I would appreciate a correction to your information, and I’d also like to thank you for citing my entire comments rather than excerpting them. Too often, small details get referenced out of context.
I suggest again that you read our materials, and would be happy to send you a passcode to read the online versions of the textbooks. More recently, we have worked on editing the series to include an integrated course sequence faithful to our core principles, if you would prefer to read that. (The video states that only Utah and Vermont use integrated sequences, which is not accurate.)
I’d also like to say that I do not feel our books are “constructivist” in the ways some other texts have been described. One of the core principles of our design is “experience before formality”, which means our texts provide opportunity for students to learn key concepts through problem work, but they also provide clear definitions, worked out examples, theorems, and proofs. The key difference is these formalizations occur after students have a chance to make meaning of the concepts, rather than at the very beginning of instruction.
Having watched the video, I agree the purpose of math is not to have fun, although it can be fun, and I am very disappointed to see an untested curriculum being recommended by the state (at least temporarily). But I also don’t understand the Saxon example from the same video: worked-out examples on polygons, triangles, transversals, and proportional segments don’t belong in an Algebra 2 book, they belong in a Geometry book — this makes the video’s argument against integrated textbooks carry a lot less weight in my opinion.
Anyway, best wishes and those roses are cool.