Update on SCASD's "Action Plan"

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Steve Piazza

Jun 11, 2009, 7:45:42 AM6/11/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education
I have been hearing from several parents over the last few days who
have read this story in the CDT:


and who want to know if some sort of deal has been struck regarding
the math curriculum. The short answer is "no". The plan referred to
in the CDT is intended to accompany the 2nd edition of Investigations
if it is adopted by the Board. On Tuesday evening, this plan was
previewed for a small group that included three parents from PQME.
The plan is to include supplementary materials that have not yet been
specified, and changes in the expectations for computational fluency,
although it is unclear how well these changes compare to the
Massachusetts and California math standards they have supposedly been
based on. We're currently trying to process what information we have
at this point, but please note that we still have not seen the "Action
Plan" in its entirety - that will not be revealed on the SCASD web
site until June 15. Please keep watching this space for updates as we
learn more.

Some brief background:

-- SCASD has been using the 1st edition of Investigations for five
years, during which time we have seen our PSSA rankings in
Pennsylvania slide from the top 10-20% to the top 50%, while our
reading rankings have remained steady and high.

-- At each grade level tested for the most recent tests, SCASD is
outperformed on the math PSSA by at least one neighboring school
district that spends less per pupil, has higher student to teacher
ratios, and has students of lower socioeconomic status.

-- The District has been pilot testing the 2nd edition of
Investigations in grades 3 and 4 at Corl Street and Gray's Woods, and
would like to expand the use of the 2nd edition to all SCASD
elementary schools. To do this, they need the School Board's
approval. On May 4, the District made this proposal to the Board and
on May 18 they presented some of the 2nd edition materials, which are
now available to the public for review and comment at 131 W. Nittany

-- At the June 22 meeting, the Board will vote on whether to adopt the
2nd edition of Investigations.


Barb Schaefer

Jun 11, 2009, 3:58:56 PM6/11/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education
I've posted SCASD's grade level expectations in mathematics in the
FILES section below. Similarly, I've posted the Massachusetts and
California Math Standards as a point of comparison. I'm afraid
Investigations-2 still doesn't add up and clearly misses the mark in
comparison to these excellent standards. Even with the proposed
upgrade of SCASD's fact fluency expectations, there are glaring holes.



Jun 11, 2009, 9:02:56 PM6/11/09
to parents-for-quali...@googlegroups.com
If SCASD is putting so much time into creating supplements, that should tell someone just how much Investigations is falling short. FCPS will not admit they made a mistake, so they are going to wast more money in a tight economy, by spending the summer creating supplemental material to make up for what Investigations lacks. This is including the teaching of standard algorithms and math facts. Investigations 1 or 2 will still leave you 2 grade levels behind. We will finish our school year next Tuesday, and I can tell you 4th grade did very little multiplication and 3 weeks of division. You will spend the first 5 months of 4th grade covering addition and subtraction.
Megan Vogel

Steve Piazza

Jun 15, 2009, 7:24:50 PM6/15/09
to Parents for Quality Math Education
The Action Plan has been posted, here:


On Jun 11, 7:45 am, Steve Piazza <steve.pia...@gmail.com> wrote:
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