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>some thoughts from last nights BOE meeting

>An Open Public Records Act request was filed with the district in the summer, but the information requested is still being gathered.

Public Comment. Discussion around the table. The math issue still exists regardless of some homework seeming to be genuine in its mathematics. Inside the classroom, the TERC materials still rule the math hour for students at Travell and Orchard. If it is quality curriculum material, then why isn’t the district sending home with the children their TERC 2nd edition Student Activity Book and why hasn’t the district provided the children with TERC 2nd edition reference books? I mean if children and parents have difficulty with the new pedagogy espoused by the TERC materials, wouldn’t those books help to build a strong home to school connection? Or is the district afraid the pictures within such books are “worth a thousand words”? Would none of those “pictures” be complementary to the program. Just how much money did the BOE authorize and the district spend on TERC? How long of a term is our licensing agreement with the TERC publisher and the CMP2 pubisher? Answers to those questions will inform parents as to how long this reform math mess will exist in their neck of Ridgewood.

Parent with a PhD Chemical Engineering offers some sage words to the BOE

Parent returns with questions asked before and so much more for the BOE

Final Thoughts

Visit the Math Help For Kids section of this website. Houghton Mifflin has eBooks of its 2005 math series. Download it. Print it. Follow it. Teach it to your child. Content matters in mathematics. If you can’t purchase Singapore Mathematics or Saxon Mathematics for home schooling your child, try the material from Houghton Mifflin.

Mathematics is the one subject where content matters. And Singapore Mathematics and Saxon Mathematics honor the scholarly body of work that is mathematics – it honors its precision, its algorithms, and its appropriate sequence. So if the focus isn’t on the very algorithms of the body of work called mathematics; then in the words of the Ph.D at this evenings BOE meeting: the algorithms are being short shrifted. And my own comment, within those algorithms lie a world of learning.

17 thoughts on “>some thoughts from last nights BOE meeting

  1. >this is from the vormath web and it has the videos of the phd dude and a video of a parent

  2. >videos are

    in the second one the parent read the homework from terc for a fourth grader – i had to laugh .. draw a picture for 7×8

  3. >I tuned into the meeting and board member Hutton was speaking. This guy needs to find a way to make his point in 25 words or less. I actually fell asleep while he was talking – – better than any sleeping pill.

  4. >We at Somerville have the hoonor of getting the “Family Letter” to explain Everyday Math to us and give the answers to the “Study Links”.

    From the fourth grade Everyday Math “Family Letter” . . .

    “Your child is about to begin work with numbers (what happened to the first seven weeks of school???). Thoughout the school year, the class will examine what numbers mean (self explanatory?) and how they are used in everyday life to convey information and solve problems. . . The class will experience many different situations in which numbers are used (duh – this is fourth grade!). Your child will collect examples of numbers and record the most interesting ones in a journal (what?????). . .”

    Here’s the real killer . . .

    “Computation is an important part of problem solving. Fortunately, we are no longer restricted to paper-and-pencil methods of computation: We can use calculators to solve lengthy problems or computer programs to solve very complex ones (No comment – I’ll let you bloggers have some fun with this one). Your child will have many opportunities for practicing mental math and paper-and-pencil math methods of computation, for using a calculator and for deciding which is the most appropriate for a particular problem (my guess is a 4th grader will chose a calculator rather than challenge themself).

    Many of us were taught that there is just one way to do computations. For example, we may have learned to subtract by “borrowing”. We may not have realized that there are other ways of subtracting number (sorry, but there’s only one way in my house). While studens will not be expected to learn more than one method, they will examine several methods and realize that there are different ways to arrive at the same result. They will have the option of learning a method they find most comfortabe, or even inventing there own (try to convince your Differential Equations prof. that your bizzare methodology is okay as long as you get the right answer!).. . .

    It goes on and on. This would be funny if it was not so sad. I fail to see why the BOE does not see how obviously bad these programs are.

  5. >If you really want to look at the Everyday Math “Family Letters” go to

    If you haven’t seen the methods being taught (column-addition, partial-sum, etc.) I URGE you to look and then, if you have not already done so, SIGN THE PETITION!!

  6. >The petition has already been delivered to the superintendent’s office weeks ago with somewhere around 215 signatures. My advice, contact the parents that spoke at last night’s BOE meeting. May a new petition should be started?

  7. >Maybe just show to a Board of Ed meeting and voice unequivocally “I do not support the use of my taxpayer dollars for inferior mathematics materials in my children’s classroom and in the hands of the professionals hired to teach my children.”

    Something is terribly wrong in the district and it seems to be the sh|t is rolling down hill from the top.

    Ms. Botsford have you ever seen a reform math curricula you DIDN’T like?

  8. >Here’s a thought, I’d like to see the raw data from the NAEP testing that Dr. Brennen quoted that he got from the other blog and see how many kids tested were from Ridgewood and then how many of them had been taught using reform math without any outside tutoring.

    Odd that Dr. Brennen is not getting NAEP data from the Ridgewood Views blog, I thought he was anti-blog?

  9. >numbers from the other flog heheheheheheheheheheheheheh you must be joking do they thing everyone in town is stupid

  10. >visit NAEP website

    it has a real easy to use data analysis tool

    where you can see that comparing California to New Jersey there are significant statistical differences

    NJ had less “free-lunch” students taking NAEP than California.

    NJ had less “urban” students taking the NAEP than California.

    But who cares about NAEP – it measures only how well subgroups of ethnicity does from state to state.

    It does not measure effectiveness of curricula materials.

    And that is the argument ignored by Botsford and company.

  11. >Hey 8:14 PM — You say, “numbers from the other flog…”

    When you say “other” flog, are you then saying PJ’s blog is a flog? If not, you should just say “the flog” because we all know about “the flog.”

  12. >Mr. Bombace saying he’ll keep an open mind to the math issue is like a parent telling a child “we’ll see.” It ain’t gonna happen folks.

  13. >The point is that Dr. Brennen was quoting information provided on the flog, which is very, very unprofesional of him.

    Either he is reading that blog or feeding that blog, either way he should be above the fray in this issue and is obviously not.

  14. >Apparently Brennan scolded board members for blogging but not flogging.

  15. >Is Brennan speaking out of both sides of his mouth?

    Me thinks he does.

  16. >Tim can’t help himself. He is a product and participant in the education establishment.

    It would take a real business professional, with no experience in education, to turn this ship of state around.

    We need someone like a retired Jack Walsh or a Steve Jobs.

  17. >How about Captain Jack Sparrow to turn this ship of state around?

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