Dec 3, 2007

changes aplenty in math and grad requirements

Via KOMO, word that the state is about ready to lift the lid off new math GLE-EALR-things, including the death of the dreaded spiral:
Seeley wouldn't share many specifics about the new learning requirements before the draft is released on Tuesday, but she did offer some examples about the way the teaching of math is evolving in Washington and around the nation.

The current math learning standards offer a spiral of learning - a number of concepts are taught over a number of years with more depth added over time. The new standards will shorten the length of time students are given to master a concept like fractions, but during the years in which fractions are a major emphasis, teachers will spend more time and make more of an effort to ensure that every child understands the concept thoroughly, Seeley said.

"We're really trying to get past the spiral, so students don't get stuck spinning around," she said.
For the anti-WASL hopeful, dash yours: the WASL's still part of the program. It'll be "revised" by 2013, when it again comes perilously close to a bona fide graduation requirement before inevitable and inexorable delays. Whoops, cynicism creeping through.

Meanwhile, on the high school front:
Tuesday, State Board of Education members will be in Seattle to discuss raising the minimum number and types of classes students need to graduate from high school, and perhaps changing other state graduation requirements, such as the in-depth "culminating" project.

The board members aren't looking at removing the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) as one of the graduation requirements — that's something they support, said Edie Harding, the board's executive director.

They are considering adding to the list of courses students must take — perhaps matching what most four-year public colleges and universities expect of their applicants. And they're discussing whether to add a number of "lifelong learning skills" that students would have to demonstrate, such as leadership, civic responsibility and teamwork.
They forgot to name test-taking, but it's in there, promise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A group called "Where's the Math" has a great response to the math revision. Here is a link:

Also here is a great letter to the editor on this topic:

According to the article: “State unveils new math plan, Changes apply mostly to teaching method
not content", it doesn't appear that much improvement is on the horizon for our kids in math. Our state superintendent, Terry Bergeson, has hired the Dana Center at the University of Texas for $1,500,000 to revise our math standards. Spokesperson for the Dana center, Kathy Seeley says:” The goal is to realign what is being taught in the classroom with what is being tested on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning…”

Since when was this the goal for the math standards revision? Has the state superintendent given out the wrong instructions? Don’t Seeley and Bergeson realize that teaching to the WASL has caused the horrible mess we are currently in? The math revision must follow Strategic Teaching‘s recommendations including changing content. If the content is not changed, the revision will be worthless!

We must demand that the Legislature closely monitors this "work in progress." It seems that Terry Bergeson is attempting to pull another fast one on the people of this state. Our children can't afford any more ineffective math.