Quick update – new math sequence to be voted on tonight

Tonight the Board will vote on the new math sequence I posted last week. I’ve read the research paper, which I think is quite clear and well-written, and I think the main question to be answered is: is the rigor students need going to be represented in the new course sequence?

The impression from parents who have commented here is clearly no — mainly I think because there is a lack of trust in the district’s ability to differentiate instruction for students with high math ability.

Anyway, the discussion should be interesting tonight. The meeting will be very long — I’m expecting a lot of general public comment as well as lots of speakers on the Solutions not Suspensions resolution from Commissioner Haney — so I don’t know what time the topic will come up. But I do intend to ask the above question about rigor.

The presentation that will accompany the discussion tonight is posted here: Board Presentation 2-25

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7 responses to “Quick update – new math sequence to be voted on tonight

  1. I am sick of CCSS scare tactics. This is another example of a huge decision being rushed through with no meaningful parent or student engagement in the name of “the core.” CCSS as adopted by CA State does include an 8th grade algebra option. This choice was not about implementing CCSS. SFUSD students now have fewer choices.

  2. Rachel,

    Out of genuine curiosity, how many board members do you think have a background in math that would be considered “strong”? Do you or any of your colleagues have a genuine love of math? How about among the top administration officials? Is there anyone from the district who has evidenced any passion for the subject (as distinct from a strong desire to teach it as a necessary life skill)?

  3. Hi Rachel,

    I have a general question about many of the decisions made by the district. Quite often (as in the research report you cite) there is reference to high quality teaching: “we need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure every student has access to an aligned course sequence in which high-quality teaching and learning are the norm”.

    And yet, there is no transparency for how teachers are evaluated in their ability to deliver high-quality teaching. My daughter, now in middle school, has had a very mixed experience, with some excellent teachers and others that are clearly phoning it in. There are classes where the assignments are not keeping up with the year’s curriculum, and the majority of the work that she brings home is quite frankly busy-work.

    Where does oversight of teacher effectiveness happen? And to what extent are the grandiose claims for the success of this new plan doomed to the same failure that has accompanied “differentiated instruction?”

    Does the board have any input at all on this issue? Do parents? Is “high-quality teaching” an empty phrase or is it something that is genuinely pursued? If the latter, how can we tell if progress is being made?

  4. Sarah@yazoo.com

    How is this not dumbing down the curriculum! What about the half of students that are ready for algebra at gr 8? We don’t offer them a challenge? There’s no opportunity for true differentiated learning anymore.

  5. second that motion

    I did not realize the decision was being made so quickly! Why no more opportunity for parent input? I am very concerned about lack of sufficient challenge for math-oriented kids, and lack of sufficient preparation for college.

  6. Thanks for posting this information. I am very hopeful that the plan will be approved and glad that the District is considering much needed changes in it’s approach to math instruction.

    It seems to me from reading the documents shared by the Math Department, that in addition to aligning with the new CCSS-M standards, there is also an underlying conversation conversation that the District is seeking to address… the issue of tracking in our schools.

    I wrote a post about it (www.sfpsmom.com) and am very interested in your thoughts. Please keep us posted on the status of this issue and thanks again for keeping us informed!

    Best,
    Alison Collins

  7. Mom to Math Lovers

    Were parents supposed to have any say in this decision? I know how to participate in my elementary school’s decision making process, but as my children get older & I’m more interested in middle school related decisions. What is best way for parents to stay informed of changes like this? Is it following this blog?