Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letter to Amherst Bee about ACSD math teaching

Data shows math textbook doesn’t hurt scores” (June 23, 2010) shows nothing of the sort.
The school district has no data for years prior to use of the mentioned text – Math Investigations, so no comparison can be made.

All data presented were based on the NYS test, which the state Education Dept. itself admits has been lowering thresholds for “mastery level” for years. The district's own longitudinal data shows a drop of 2% “mastery” per year of exposure to MI at Amherst, while NYS and Erie county averaged 2% per year increases! For Maths 3,4,5: at the end of 4 years, Amherst finishes at the bottom of all 5 neighboring districts.

Ms. Lavin's vociferous claims of children's and teachers' “increased ... ability to think, ...understanding and ...confidence” have no basis in reality.

Dr. Carosella's “ (The Adminstration's) ...statements do not support that MI is a bad program ...” makes me proud to have a Board member with such incredibly high standards.
The relative high performance of ACSD students (and the difference between SDS and Windermere) can be attributed to the socio-economic status of the parents, and there is no way to attribute it to MI.

A US Dept. of Education 2009 study found that MI is “the least effective” of 4 curricula and found a 9 - 12%-ile drop attributable to MI. 40 of 70 school districts touted as “successes” by the publisher of MI dropped the program within two years and 24 have funding that obligates the use of MI.

Your ostensibly neutral reporter, Mr. Nagy, displays a bias towards the Administration and no understanding of the issues or the Math involved.

For a comprehensive pedagogical and mathematics based critique of MI, allow me the opportunity to write an article. 

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