Statements from Candidates for School Board

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Steve Piazza

May 13, 2009, 9:02:44 AM5/13/09
* As promised in our Sunday CDT ad, here are the position statements we have received from candidates for the SCASD Board of Directors.  I am posting this on the web site under "Files" as well.

* PQME has not endorsed any candidates for the Board.  We invite you to read their positions on the math issue and investigate their positions on other issues you care about.

* Feel free to use this forum to discuss and interpret the candidates' statements.

* Election day is Tuesday, May 19th.



May 13, 2009, 11:34:18 AM5/13/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education,

Thanks for posting the position statements of candidates for the SCASD
Board of Directors. I am cc-ing this message to Mr. Hutchinson.

I am (as probably others from PQME are) curious to see evidence to
support the following statement: "the evidence in support of
Investigations Math – as it is taught in the State College school
district – is overwhelming". Mr.Hutchinson, please provide PQME with
some measurable evidence.

- We know that student math score stay the same. That does not say
that the program is working. Thanks to teachers and parents that
supplement Investigations math curriculum student math score stay the
same. Not to mention the hard work of those teachers that teach kids
struggling with math . BTW those teachers have to be efficient and
they go straight to algorithms because kids get it!

- We know that SCASD teachers welcomed the new approach to teaching
math after they had the training. We believe that we are lucky to have
such wonderful teachers in SCASD. If only they had a world class math
curriculum with proven measurable success record!

Osana Tishkova
>  Board_Candidate_Positions.pdf
> 185KViewDownload
Message has been deleted

Oak Norton

May 14, 2009, 9:52:23 AM5/14/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education
As an outsider to your elections (though an SCASD graduate '87), I
would like to make a comment about Mr. Henderson's response. I do
this not to pick on him because I know there are others that hold this
same line of incorrect thinking. He said:

"If I need the solution to a difficult math problem, I'll go to a math
professor. But if I need to know how
to teach a math concept, I would look first to the professor in
education who has that expertise."

The notion that math educators know how to teach while mathematicians
only know how to solve is not only a fallacy, but is disrespectful to
mathematicians. The quality of a teacher is not determined by their
own education in pedagogical methods, it is their skill level in
communicating an idea to students. Mathematicians have a greater
understanding of where a student is conceptually progressing to than
math educators by virtue of the fact they have generally had more
upper level math and understand the foundation of those upper

That said, the best teachers are those who have a combination of
knowledge on content mastery for the conceptual framework it provides,
and the ability to transmit knowledge in a variety of ways which may
help one type of learner understand a concept over another method.

There are many gifted teachers that cannot teach math because they
don't have the content framework necessary to know where the concepts
lead. Implementing a program like Investigations exacerbates the
problem because it is sorely lacking in content and teachers need
content help when they are weak in math.

The Seattle school board president recently realized this after voting
for Everyday Math in his district just 3 years ago. The quality of a
curriculum and textbook is the most important factor for student
success because too many educators don't have a strong math
background. Watch his comments here:


Steve Piazza

May 16, 2009, 7:20:07 AM5/16/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education
Just thought I would "ping" this post to bring it to the top, in case
readers of this morning's CDT are coming to this site in order to find
the full statements from the candidates.


On May 13, 9:02 am, Steve Piazza <> wrote:
>  Board_Candidate_Positions.pdf
> 185KViewDownload
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