We're hearing from teachers and parents across the county regarding their concerns about the math program. Read on:

*"I have continued to watch my child and others struggle with the new Math curriculum. Most recently the school sent a letter out concerning the new Math 3 support course which is sanctioned by the state as a "core" course to help support students in passing Math 3. This to me suggests that new Math is not working."*

*"My child is a 10th grader at Chamblee in the magnet program, taking accelerated Math 2. As I understand this is the first group to have all of middle and high in new Math. Last year's 10th graders at Chamblee were able to take Algebra I, II, etc."*

*"Dekalb County has continued to state that the state requires that the Math courses be taught just as they as teaching. I work in Fulton County. Last year, midyear we were told to pull out the old Math books, Algebra I, etc. This year, Math courses are being taught using the old books with the new curriculum as a resource. Fulton cited the plunging Iowa scores as the reason for the change. They never really adopted the new Math due to parent protests. I note that APS is providing extra funding for a school teaching the new Math. Forsyth and Gwinnett continue to teach the old Math."*

*"We need to set the goal of having our Math switch back to Algebra I, II, etc by the winter break. If Fulton can switch midyear, why can't we? I am not sure how to bring about the change back to the old curriculum, but would appreciate the input and expertise of the folks on this blog. I also think that we need to get the superintendent and board focused on education along with redistricting and construction. After all, isn't that why we are all here? I sometimes think we lose sight of what should be our real focus the education of our children."*

*"Clearly we are lagging behind the metro region in Math. Something needs to be done ASAP."*

We would love to hear from teachers, parents and students about the math program. Was Shayna right in her assessment of the new math in her July, 2009 article entitled, "All About Math"? What can we do to make the necessary corrections to salvage our math student's GPAs?

## 56 comments:

The "old" way of Math obviously isn't working - look at the test scores.

I say we wait until this year's Junior class takes the SAT next spring. They are the first class to have been immersed in the new Math curriculum in High School.

This is the same class that failed in record numbers last year in 10th grade. How long can we wait? For the short tern, let's look at the more successful counties around us...what are they doing? In talking with a senior who moved down a level in Math, I understand that colleges are questioning why? What will happen to students who take Math Support?

Those poor guinea pigs!

What if next year's Math SAT scores are up?

My children have had no problems with the new Math curriculum.

The students who are on level aren't having as many problems however per my child's high school teacher, they are not being offered enough advanced Math to fare well on the SAT and ACT tests.

This year's junior class will be the first class to have been exposed only to the new Math curriculum, thus the SAT and ACT tests they take from here on will be reflective of the new way of teaching Math.

This year's senior class, which was on the "old" Math track did horribly on the SAT Math test. Just look at the Math scores in DCSS - just about every school was down on the Math portion.

So, what to do? The old way was not working. Many are complaining that the new way isn't working? How does one solve the problem.

Go look at the EOCT scores for Algebra, Geometry, etc., for DCSS, pre-"new" Math curriculum. The scores were not better then than they are now.

@ Anonymous 1:44

"The scores were not better then than they are now. "

How are you comparing the scores? There is Algebra 1 and Geometry (no etc.) listed under the 2008 EOCTs. And in 2009 only Algebra 1 had scores. Math 1 had no scores. Math 2 is not on the EOCT charts.

And what happened to the "cut" scores as they switched in 2010 to listing Math 1 and Math 2 scores? What were the "cut" scores for Algebra 1 and Geometry in 2008? What were the "cut' scores in 2010 for Math 1 and Math 2?

It seems you are comparing apples to oranges if you are using the EOCT spreadsheets off the DCSS website:

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/instruction/testing/testscores.html

I don't think we can identify the "old" math as a cause for poor performance on the SAT/ACT. Plenty of other school systems in other states teach the traditional math curriculum (Algebra, Geometry, etc.) and their kids do very well on the SAT. I do think that block scheduling is a big part of the problem, as not as much material is covered on the block as in a year long course, and there is too much lag time between math courses. Has this been evaluated?

The other problem is that too many teachers who teach math at the high school level simply do not have mastery of the subject matter they are teaching.

I don't think we can identify the "old" math as a cause for poor performance on the SAT/ACT. Plenty of other school systems in other states teach the traditional math curriculum (Algebra, Geometry, etc.) and their kids do very well on the SAT. I do think that block scheduling is a big part of the problem, as not as much material is covered on the block as in a year long course, and there is too much lag time between math courses. Has this been evaluated?

The other problem is that too many teachers who teach math at the high school level simply do not have mastery of the subject matter they are teaching.

We're in trouble, because Morcease Beasley, Audria Berry, and the army of Instructional Coaches know nothing about math education.

We actually have many good math teachers in the system, but they have no avenue for input and suggestions to the Central Office pencil pushers, who are more worried about how bulletin boards look in a classroom.

Morcease Beaseley and Ramona Tyson barely spent anytime in the classroom. Sorting out this math mess isn't going to happen with the curent Central Office administration.

ANON 3:31

Please have the teachers suggest something on this blog and WE WILL get the word to the "PALACE"!

This is the appropriate forum for requests that go unheard at the administrative level.

Please do not complain about things not working in the classroom.

Please offer a suggestion or a solution and have teachers put the requests and comments on this board!

This is a very LOUD forum with many ACTIVE people who are willing to make their "Voice" heard.

So please, ask the teachers to post on the blog and let's hear their concerns, their wishes and their wants.

Unfortunately the information highway that leads to Mtn. Industrial Blvd. is a one way street. From the Palace and into the schools!

Please take these remarks as constructive and an opportunity to help get the teachers involved with communicating with people who want to hear them, who want to help them, who want to help the KIDS!

Thanks for reading my post and I look forward to hearing from concerned teachers soon.

COGATs on Monday!

Sagamore 7

One size does not fit all. We need multiple graduation tracks including a non-College track which offers more practical Math. Many students havn't mastered the basics. Everyone does not have the apptitude for advanced abstract Math. We need to offer options so that all of the graduates in Georgia will be able to be productive gainfully employed citizens.

Oh, there is so much I could say about this. Where to start?

I attended many meetings pre-implementation of the new curriculum and was very concerned from day one. After the adoption of the new curriculum and beginning of the implementatin, I continued to attend meetings and ask questions.

At one such meeting, the DCPC meeting that was at Ashford Park on the subject of math, Dr. Martha Reichrath basically told the parents in the audience that it was only North Atlanta parents who had concerns. This meant that the parents from E. Cobb, N. Fulton, Cherokee, Forsyth, Gwinnett and N. DeKalb were just a bunch of trouble makers because no one else in the entire state was complaining.

The Fulton County Superintendent has dumped the new math except for high school. She has kept it, for now, because of EOCTs, but Fulton is pursuing charter system status and I imagine this is part of the reason why.

It isn't working for a variety of reasons. PSAT scores were down last year (10th graders who had had the new math since 6th grade). Both candidates for state superintendent of education acknowledge there are problems with the math curriculum.

Here is Joe Martin's statement about the math

What do you think about the changes to how Georgia teaches math?

Integrating the key concepts in mathematics can be an effective way to improve the proficiency of our students, but unfortunately, our state jumped into the new math curriculum without adequate planning and preparation. The implementation has obviously gone off track. Most of all, we didn't give our teachers the training they need to make a smooth transition. As State School Superintendent, I will convene a panel to assist me in evaluating the math curriculum to make sure we are headed in the right direction and to identify the necessary adjustments and possible alternatives. With the benefit of this review, we may slow down the implementation until the necessary support is in place. It may be possible to restore the traditional "pathway" in some form. In any event, our curriculum should be consistent with the recently announced Core Content State Standards, which do allow alternative ways to meet the standards.

Dr. John Barge on the new math:

One major paradigm shift, however, that has been a disaster since the beginning is the revised math curriculum. In a nutshell, Georgia has become the only state in the country that does not teach Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, etc. as separate courses.

I have a variety of issues with the new math curriculum:

Resources - This curriculum has presented hurdles for local school districts from the beginning. First, there has been the issue of resources. There was not a textbook publisher in the country that was producing a resource for our teachers to teach math based on this model. Why? Because most textbook companies did not want to produce textbooks for this out-of-step curriculum that they could only sell in one state.

Portability – As a curriculum director at the local district level, I urged the state to consider this fact. What class do we put a student in that comes in from another state or from a private school within our state? Because they haven’t studied under our math curriculum, it is a guessing game as to which one of our integrated courses in which to place him/her.

Lower graduating numbers—Perhaps the biggest problem of all with the math curriculum is that we will have far fewer students graduating under this new math curriculum. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that every student must now complete the same college prep curriculum in order to graduate. Now, all students are required to complete 4 units of math, including Math I, Math II, and Math III. While that sounds good, every child in this state successfully completing Math III Advanced Algebra/Statistics, in addition to a fourth math course, is not realistic.

Kara Willis is the liberterian candidate for State Super. I couldn't find her statement about math but will post if I do.

The traditional "old" math curriculum has worked well in many systems outside Georgia. Why did Georgia think we needed a "new" untested math curriculum, for which teachers were not adequately trained?

Anonymous @12:40.... You'll have to wait another year if you're going to use that strategy, this year's junior class is mixed with students who opted to take Algebra I in the 8th grade. So they were allowed to stay on that track and have or are taking Algebra II, Trig and Cal

I'm a teacher in DeKalb and what is most frustrating about teaching math is that the central office folks keep changing the curriculum. For the past four years the curriculum has changed every year. In the elementary school, they've purchased two series for us to use, but they change the sequence of what we teach every year! Math is not a subject you can teach in any order. Math is sequential! They have us using the state frameworks this year as the "meat" of our curriculum and the text books as a "resource." This has been the biggest mistake yet and they didn't even purchase the Math Expressions workbooks for us this year == so our copiers are going down daily from all the copying we are doing. We have Math Georgia books that are collecting dust on the shelf because we're not supposed to be using those. Make any sense... judge by the scores this next year...

It's probably true that DCSS is implementing the math curriculum poorly, but truly, the blame lies mostly with the Georgia DOE. Its employees, including Kathy Cox, were the ones who wrote the new curriculum, rolled it out with testing its efficacy, and failed to train teachers adequately. Additionally, they knew all along that no existing textbooks covered their curriculum.

Make that "rolled it out WITHOUT testing its efficacy"

I want to note for the record that we can't forgot that Dr. Brown forced Algebra I on all 8th graders when we look at "old math" not working in DCSS. Math is, indeed sequential. If you have a group of kids who don't know their multiplication table cold and cant easily divide (and don't know addition and subtraction facts cold) they are not ready for algebra I. Sticking them in Algebra I, no matter what grade they are in, isn't going to make a hill of beans of difference until they can do these basic skills. Sure, kids who survive calculus do well in college but others who don't take calculus in HS also do well in college but not if they don't know these underlying math facts. We keep putting the cart before the horse. And, yess, if the kid is not interested in these things at all -- the proverb goes: you can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drintk -- we need "life skills" options: strong votech and math courses that teach how credit cards and mortgages work and all about personal finance and forget about Trig and Calculus and Algebra II for those kids... They need to file tax returns and pay bills down the road though.

The dirty secret is that you cannot use Math scores at Lakeside, Druids Hills, Chamblee, Dunwoody in estimating effectiveness of the curriculum. You can't because the middle class students are heavily privately tutored for a pretty fee by tutors who use the old math.

No textbook in math? You should take a look at the world languages.

There are currently no textbooks in world languages either. The foreign languages teachers are making their daily lessons up everyday using whatever worksheets and old textbooks they can find.

The Beasley crowd has given them a vague curriculum and a plethora of sound-alike/look alike GPS as a guide to make-up their lessons.

When I ask my twins Spanish teacher, what and from where my kids should study? She says study the notebook and their notes!!!

We are paying for this, folks!

The problem is that the math curriculum continues to change on a yearly basis across the board for all of our children. Our elementary students do not have a basic grasp of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, problem solving, place value, and other basic math concepts that you'd expect elementary students to understand. These kids get to the high school and it's no wonder that many are struggling, because they have no foundation to build more skills upon.

We have people running the math department and instruction department at all levels who do not know what they are doing.

I watched Oprah on Monday as Rhee talked about firing principals because children couldn't wait for next year to see what was going to happen. I immediately felt this way about DCSS and math especially, as each year something new is used and our kids are suffering for the stupidity of the adults who are making the decisions.

Our children can't be expected to get a grasp on math, when there is no spiraling or logic that goes with it's teaching. We throw math at the kids, spend a few days on a concept and hope that it sticks. We bounce around and do not even teach the concepts in a logical order. Starting the year with topics like graphs that require a number sense instead of place value and other areas of number sense.

We need someone in our leadership to care about the kids and say enough is enough. I am stopping this train right now.

The old way may not be the best way, but it sure beats what we are doing to the kids now. There are many math tutors getting rich off our parents, because the curriculum flat out sucks.

1. There was not enough training provided for teachers before the new math started. Before teachers may have had an area that they taught. It may have been algebra. The new math required teachers to teach a combination of math areas. It doesn' t mean that a teacher could not do this. But it may mean that they needed support to refresh their skills.

2.Depending on the form of the block, a student could take math first semester. Then not have a math class again to first semester of the next school year. For a student who is not strong in math, they lose so many of the concepts that they have learned. Find a way regardless of the schedule to have math taught each semester.

3. As has already been stated, we must offer our children strong vocational choices and math that supports those options. Every person is not and should not go to college. There are excellent meaningful and important vocational areas. There needs to be an option of a different math offered for students that have chosen a vocational pathway.

4.There has to be money and help from the state to offer classes that can assist students that are having a hard time in math. Every one cannot learn the same concepts at the same speed. I know it may be easy to tell the teacher to be more creative and to engage the students. But, you have 35 students in a classroom. You are the only teacher. You have to discipline as well as teach. Hands on sounds great and is a wonderful practice, but you have to be able to move around and keep the students engaged.

I am not trying to creae a problem or disrespect anyone's job. Some of the experts and AIC (County Office) Professional Learning Staff Members and Instructional Coordinators need to be in the schools and demonstrate some of these great strategies that they are always offering the teachers.

Instead of just telling us how to do it, come into the classroom and work with the students. See the kinds of issues that the teachers and students are having with the materials and the math classes. It is hard to evaluate from a distance. The answer is not to just "get rid of the teacher and the principal" . Let the experts come in and show us how to do it. Not just for one day, but for a period of time. You would gain the respect of so many teachers by doing this. It would also allow the people offering the trainings to get a better view of what needs to be done.

Every state in the US does not use this format. My Ivy League daughter is in classes with students from all over the world. I always aske her to check with others. Most of them have never heard of this and "took the old math". In no way am I trying to suggest that this part of my comment is an offical survey. But, why did we change? What kind of evaluation was done before we moved to this new math?

Anyone with an issue regarding curriculum (or even other issues) has an opportunity to now submit an anonymous survey to Dr. Beasley. I personally give the guy credit for putting this out there! So in response, please -- teachers, submit your hones assessments! (Even if you have to use someone else's computer to remain anonymous!)

Here's the link -

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22ASNBW3WRX

The problem with the Math from Kindergarten to Math 4 is that the State Frameworks were obviously designed by people long out of the classroom who have forgotten that Math requires PRACTICE. Students cannot have 3 "tasks" with 1 or 2 problems and master a concept. But that's what the state frameworks have us doing.

They are also not presented in any logical manner. Every grade level in my Elementary School has complained about the state Frameworks and the fact that we're asked to teach students skills that they are obviously not ready for and to do so without teaching any of the pre-requisite skills they lack.

Dr. Beasley is asking all Math teachers in schools that didn't make AYP to come to a meeting next week. It will be interesting to see if any of the issues are actually addressed.

All pacing charts and Math Frameworks were removed from FIrst Class as of yesterday. Hopefully, something is going to change. This concerns elementary grades.

Beasley is NOT the right person for this job of instruction. Especially now!

Folks we have to insist on improvements. However, we might have to wait until the SAT scores from this year to make an honest assessment.

My child is in accelerated math in 6th grade. I hope they can get this straighten out.

I do have a family member who works at a university in Florida. There are schools down there very concerned about our Math Curriculum. They have never seen a curriculum like this and are concerned about students having to slide back before progressing into the college courses.

1st caveat: you cannot draw reliable conclusions when examining data horizontally (that is, across multiple groups of students).

Algebra I EOCT pass rates:

May 06: 34% DeKalb and 65% state

May 07: 35% DeKalb and 65% state

May 08: 44% DeKalb and 55% state

Math 1 EOCT pass rates:

May 10: 59% DeKalb and 65% state

Math 2 EOCT pass rates:

May 10: 44% DeKalb and 52% state

While these 3 tests represent many different groups of students (which I just said we shouldn't do), I think we can safely say that DeKalb is doing no worse when compared to the state.

2nd caveat: the kids who took Algebra 1 EOCT in May 09 included a lot of "stragglers" who failed Algebra 1 at least one time.

I've omitted May 09 Algebra 1 EOCT data as irrelevant to this discussion.

3rd caveat: I'm not an apologist for GPS integrated math. I just don't think it's the problem.

Integrated math has its flaws, not least of which is transfer of credit to institutions that rightly cannot figure out how to allocate a Math 1 credit. However, we cannot blame our county's problems on the curriculum.

4th caveat: I have little patience for teachers who cannot teach the new curriculum. Content is content. If you're qualified to teach high school math, it shouldn't matter how that math is packaged.

Please don't argue the teachers aren't adequately trained in the new curriculum. That's just an excuse bad teachers hide behind.

@ Cere 10:25 PM

Yes, Beasley created a survey. But, he could not even spell "Chamblee" correctly! FAIL!

Does anyone remember Saxon Math? A more logical, sequential process. Geometry is taught along with the Algebra, but if you start at the beginning . . . .

I really don't think that there is anything wrong with teaching Algebra I in 8th grade. As long as our students have mastered fractions, multiplication, and division. This is entirely possible, if you focus math instruction on getting down the basics in elementary school. Algebra I in 8th grade should be an option for students who are ready.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with drilling math facts, timed tests on math facts, and flash cards. It's not flashy, or fun, but it does work. The wonderful thing about math is that the rules always stay the same. There are no exceptions. However, you must teach the rules. It's an orderly process so even if you don't initially understand why it works, you can apply the correct strategy to get the right answer.

I spent good money on a math tutor when my daughter was in high school. This is not a new problem. It's time to stop being innovative and go back to an instructional process that actually works.

The Frameworks were not intended to be the end all, be all of math instruction. They were intended to show the rigor of student work for students to do well on the CRCT.

Yes, students do not have enough time to practice anything, because the material is not presented in a logical way. In elementary school, the teachers are to use 2 text books. The Math Expressions program is a good program, when done in the way that it was written. DCSS has chosen to rewrite the Expressions curriculum and teachers cannot use it in the way it was intended, because you are to teach lesson 1.10, lesson 1.5, and then lesson 1. 14. The lessons build upon themselves and skipping around skipping lessons makes it impossible to teach, imagine how impossible it is to learn.

We have taken the logic out of math.

The way education data is looked at would never fly in any other field. You can't compare totally different students against each other.

Teachers weren't adequately trained. I was trained in Expressions in another state and had a week long training on how to use the program correctly. The train the trainer who trains a teacher who then trains the teachers approach that DCSS uses provided me with barley 2 hours of training and the teachers doing the training had little knowledge of how to use the program. A teacher may have deep understanding of math, but the way that it is given to teachers in the way of Frameworks, and other crap is not easy and very time consuming to even get a grasp on. Teachers simply do not have enough time as every time they think they understand, something is changed, added or removed. Math is constantly changing and the people in charge have a no confidence vote from my home.

"I really don't think that there is anything wrong with teaching Algebra I in 8th grade. As long as our students have mastered fractions, multiplication, and division. This is entirely possible, if you focus math instruction on getting down the basics in elementary school. Algebra I in 8th grade should be an option for students who are ready.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with drilling math facts, timed tests on math facts, and flash cards. It's not flashy, or fun, but it does work. The wonderful thing about math is that the rules always stay the same. There are no exceptions. However, you must teach the rules. It's an orderly process so even if you don't initially understand why it works, you can apply the correct strategy to get the right answer. "

This is very true, and as a former teacher, I don't understand why we aren't insisting that our children understand the basics and just keep pushing them along.

Sadly the GA standards and the new National Standards do not really allow for a strong understanding of the basics. Both have great breath, with little depth and understanding. This will mean that the cycle of children with poor math skills will continue.

Anon 10:39

The pacing charts (blended usage guides) and frameworks are still in First Class for the first semester. They haven't been posted yet for the 2nd semester.

Did you see something saying they were being removed?

This is really scary. I'm just a parent of two elementary children. Do I get tutors now???

The Math State Framworks were removed and then put back on yesterday afternoon.

My students need to be taught in the instruciontal process, therefore, I have gone back to using Math Georgia and Math Expressions.

I was told that Math Expressions was designed, not to be the primary source, as was told to us before this year. THe program was designed to use Math Georgia as the primary source and Math Expressions as the secondary source. Math Expressions is designed to teach students different strategies.

One of the math coordinators decided that she would reverse it and make Math Expressions the primary source. This year it bacame even worse. Now the State Frameworks are the primary source with Math Georgia and Math Expressions as secondary resources. Many of the students in our school do not have the mathematical background to perform the task that they are asked to do on the Frameworks.

This has been sent to the principals today and forwarded on to the teachers.

Division of K-12 Teaching and Learning

Department of Elementary Teaching and Learning`

I. Please list feedback that may be helpful regarding elementary teaching and learning initiatives.

II. Please type your feed/back and questions in the provided spaces.

III. Recommendations

Please list specific recommendations based upon the questions, concerns, and comments provided in the feedback section. Please provide details and/or examples to clarify the recommendations.

If you talk with high school parents at Lakeside, Druid Hills, Dunwoody and Chamblee, you will find that most of the students have math tutors and Math study groups. The Math certified teacher who tutored my child last year told us this year that she could not in good conscience continue to tutor my child as many of the concepts were beyond her expertise. We changed to a Georgia Tech/ MIT trained math tutor who stated that he did not study some of these concepts until his sophomore year at Tech. Why is Dekalb trying to teach these concepts to students who are struggling in Math already? Don't we have enough problems?

Many say we weren't doing any better with the old Math. At least with the old Math colleges understood what Math preparation our students had. Who can explain what is covered in Math 1, vs Math 1 accelerated, Math 1 advanced and now we introduce Math support? It's enough!

Parents take a stand. E-mail Ms Tyson and Beasley and your board member. We need changes now. Every week that passes is another week our children fall behing.

I agree with 8:34 a.m. Except your emails and letters need to go to Brad Bryant and Martha Reichrath at the State BOE and to the two candidates running for state school superintendent.

They control the high school math curriculum.

I am so baffled.

The math teachers in Forsyth say the state has abandoned the Math curriculum. They told me the new grids are out, and they feature the Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, etc, progression. I asked them if this was just Forsyth County and they said no, it's statewide. I am wondering if the state actually has just granted leeway for those school systems that want to change. But know, our brethren are abandoning the model DCSS is using.

Does anyone have a contact at DOE that we can verify this? We need to be sure that we push DeKalb to adopt the change ASAP...not to wait another year!

Send an email to Martha Reichrath. She is in charge of this at the DOE.

The math model DCSS uses is state maandated and if the state allows us to change we will ASAP. We didn't pick, we weren't happy with it and don't blame the state cirriculum on us unless you want to blame us for the Kennedy assination and global warming.

I just went to the state DOE Standards.org webpage. There is nothing new under either the Standards or the Frameworks webpage.

I think Forsyth County is just stepping away from the HS math program. Although I don't see how the students will fare on the EOCT.

If anyone has a link to new HS math standards please post.

I just went to the state DOE Standards.org webpage. There is nothing new under either the Standards or the Frameworks webpage.

I think Forsyth County is just stepping away from the HS math program. Although I don't see how the students will fare on the EOCT.

If anyone has a link to new HS math standards please post.

I teach high school math in DeKalb. Listen, math is math - no matter what the titles of the courses. The new curriculum is fine. The problem, I feel, is that DeKalb did not take the time and use the money it takes to provide superior resources. They didn't even provide adequate resources. Without these resources, many children will not do a well as they can.

One more thing (and it's probably been said before), I don't think the 4x4 block system is working. I just don't think that making a kid, who doesn't like math in the first place, essentially take two math courses every year. It's a brow-beat-down.

The Math Frameworks need to be printed out in order to be used. There are five or six units a year. The second unit is 73 pages for my grade level. Ok. That is a lot of cartridge ink. Teachers all over the county have to print these out. If the county wants us to use this information, how are suppose to be paying for it? Cartridges for the county are rather limited with all cost saving measures. Many classrooms do not even have printers or they are broken. New printers for everyone is a need not a want!!

I'm a high school math teacher in DeKalb. I'll tell you the main issue I see; Special Education is broken. Education would be mostly OK if it weren't for the Special Ed issues in the classroom.

There are 34 kids in each of my classes. There are about 6 in each class (ALL of them Special Ed) who routinely disrupt the class and slow down the learning process considerably.

6 out of 34 is almost 20%, so I suppose that the 80-20 rule applies. I'm certainly spending 80 percent of MY time on 20 percent of the students. 80% of the review and support time is spent (mostly without significant gains) on these 6 students). And 80% of my parental followup time is spent on these students. What does this say?

I'm a compassionate person, but these are kids who simply DON'T BELONG in a regular ed classroom setting. It's NOT lifting them up. It's dragging the entire classroom down.

If I could get the 5 lowest performers out of every class, I'm positive there would be a substantial improvement in the capabilities of the remaining 29 kids.

No child left behind, in my mind, has become No Child Gets Ahead. And the reason we are rated so low internationally, is that NO OTHER COUNTRY EVEN ATTEMPTS TO EDUCATE EVERY STUDENT. They're measuring their best performers, not ALL of their students.

Oh well.... what do I know. I'm just a dumb math teacher trying desperately to do my best.

@ Anonymous 11:21

Look at this repost below. Special Education teachers make up 20% of our teachers. They should be providing the help you need with those 20% of students:

Repost:

Numbers of DCSS teachers who are NOT grade level teachers or content area teachers: 2981

This includes:

Library Media Specialists:

161

Special Area Teachers:

1369

(Special Education Adapted PE, Pre-K Sp.Ed., Psycho-Ed Sp.Ed., Sp. Ed Interrelated, Sp. Ed. Specialist, Sp. Ed. Autistic, Sp. Ed. Emotional Behavior, Sp. Ed. Hearing Impaired, Teacher of Mild Intellectual, Teacher of Moderate Intellectual, Teacher of Orthopedic Impairment, Teacher of Other Health Impairment, Teacher Of Severely Intell. Impaired, Teacher of specific Learning Disability, Teacher of Visually Impaired, Speech –Language Pathologist, Adapted PE teacher:

1,369

Other Instructional Providers:

42

Instructional Specialists (Art, PE, Music, Band, Orchestra elementary teachers):

445

Gifted:

87

ESOL:

154

Early Intervention Specialists:

128

Instructional Coaches (America’s Choice Instructional Coaches, Literacy Coaches and Graduation Coaches):

80

Exploratory Teachers:

46

Hospital Homebound:

1

Vocational Teachers:

207

Related Vocational Teachers:

11

World Languages in high school and Connections teachers in middle school

250 (estimated)

Approximately 3,500 teachers out of 6,500 teachers teach grades 1, 2, 3, 4 ,5 and the content areas of science, math, Language Arts and Social Studies.

So complete responsibility for AYP rests on less around 3,500 employees out of 15,859 total employees.

Do you see why grade level and content area teachers have the most paperwork and the most pressure? Do you see why we have difficulty attracting the best of our science and math brains into DeKalb Schools?

source: state Salary and Travel audit

This is a new post from greatschools.org

The new new new math?

First there was math, then "new math," then "reform math," then “everyday math,” and now ... Singapore math? According to a recent New York Times article, the imported curriculum is gaining popularity at U.S. schools for its slower approach to the study of numbers, symbols, and equations — “slow math” if you will. (How slow? One school in Franklin Lakes, N.J., spent an entire week on just the numbers 1 and 2 with its kindergartners.)

By covering fewer topics in greater detail early on, instructors aim to give children a deeper grasp of mathematical concepts — and hopefully replicate the stellar scores of Singapore students on international math exams. Taught at both public and private schools (like the elite Sidwell Friends School attended by President Obama’s daughters), Singapore math offers a mix of traditional and reform math methods, “melding old-fashioned algorithms with visual representations and critical thinking.”

However, some school districts and parents aren’t so sure that foreign textbooks — would mentions of curry puffs or exotic rambutan fruit be lost on the average American kid? — and expensive teacher training are the best way to boost U.S. students' slipping math skills.

What about at your school? Would you like it to give Singapore math a try?

oh boy!

The new new new math?

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